What abundance of grace was born to you that you could share with me?

I found the one whom my soul loves.

I found him in a coffee shop over two years ago and he held my hand as I jumped in puddles.  I found his eyes softening like butter when he gazed in awe at my freckles as the raindrops jealously kissed my face. I found his hand held onto mine despite the sweat that dared to slide between us in the 90 degree heat.

I found him when he laid next to me in the autumn leaves and held me against the on-coming chill. I found him when we stared in the flames of a bonfire and reveled in the comfort of the silence between us. I found him when he pulled his hat over his ears and buried his face in my hair to share the precious warmth.

I found him when he kissed my forehead to break the bonds of sleep – only to present a steaming mug of clarity (some call it coffee) as we watched the sunrise over the pier. I found him when we had a splash war in the water, and although he grabbed and threatened to dunk me, I never doubted that I was safe in the arms of my lifeguard.

The days turned to weeks, and the weeks tumbled into months, and the months stumbled into years and I waited to see if he could still be found.The baby face melted away into the chiseled cheekbones of a man. Depending on the day, the contacts would materialize into glasses. The peach fuzz of boyhood toughened into reddish bristles, neatly trimmed to frame the lips that still spoke words as warm as his embrace.

Then one day, I found him again.

I found him on one knee in the summer grass where the leaves had once laid with us in a blanket of color. I found myself blinded with the glint of a diamond while his hands shook in time with the beating of my heart.

And in that moment, I couldn’t find him.

When my eyes recovered, there he was.

A new title, a little older, a little more scared of the unknowns ahead, a little more excited too. And a little more mine.  I found him.

But what I didn’t realize, is that he found me.

The story of man runs in a dreary circle.

It was 2013 and I was sweating nervously thinking about the amount of perspiration that I would shed during the many hours that I would invest to play soccer at my college – as if the schoolwork enough wasn’t intimidating enough.

It was 2014 and I was moaning at the thought of going to nanny for 4 boys all summer and not getting paid nearly enough to run around and chase “noise with dirt on it” for eight hours.

It was 2015 and I could feel the half-eaten oatmeal churning in my stomach thinking about returning to my internship at SBMF and having just another one of many crappy days as I extracted protein from stool samples.

It’s 2016 and now I’m dreading driving my hour commute tomorrow to arrive at my official first job where I begin to learn how to detest corporate America and the healthcare regulations.

Year after year after year and I realize that history repeats itself every summer. Somehow, all I want to do is take a breath and be satisfied with where I am in life. Maybe that’s why the 20s are so hard.

Truly no matter how close you are currently to where you want to be for the rest of your life, and no matter how your fingers itch for the next step, and no matter how little space remains between this time and the next – satisfaction and happiness are dangerously illusive.

You’d think I would’ve learned by now.

But I haven’t.

In fact, I’m stuck in the same place I was before, wondering how I’m going to get through this summer just like the others.

I’m thankful for/to:
1) have a job in the first place
2) to be able to live at home with wonderful people that I don’t get to see nearly as much as I wish I could during the rest of the year
3) to have a best friend who can encourage me and wipe the tears away and remain close despite the miles between us.

I’m trying something that I didn’t do before. The goal is to wake up early, appreciate my time, actually eat breakfast, pray for peace and rest for my weary soul, and remember the things that I should be, and am, grateful for. If history repeats itself and I haven’t found a way that works in the past, maybe I should try something new.

Switch my mindset.

Alter my own reality.

Find a new identity.

But maybe, if history truly repeats itself, then maybe I’m not becoming a new person at all. Maybe I’m finding the person that I was before, who resurfaces whenever I need her to.

Failure is the condiment that gives success it’s flavor.

I shipwrecked myself.

I had a goal and a deadline. I had a plotline and a series of characters that would interact with each other wonderfully and awkwardly and every bit in between. And somewhere along the way, I took a wrong turn (or deliberately ignored my GPS) and decided not to go to the final destination that I chose for myself nearly one month ago.

I had a dream of completing another novel this summer. I’m sure you guys heard about the plan in one of my previous posts — I think I even posted about it on another blog!

But I failed.

Worse than that, I made a choice to fail.

I got home every night from my second internship and told myself that after dinner, I would write. I would write because I spent at least 8 hours thinking about science and contemplating complex ideas like chromosomes and florescent DNA stains and fruit flies with legs coming out of their heads (oh, its a thing!) and I need to switch my brain into English mode.

But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sit myself down and force myself to write anything worth keeping. I tried everyday for the first week and a half until I realized that there was no possible way that I could finish 50,000 words in two and half weeks. My characters were perfect — a good friend forced me to do a writing sprint where I wrote as much as I could in 10 minutes and I wrote everything I possibly could about my characters.

Heck, the main one was actually supposed to be like me. My protagonist never usually represents me and this time, she was! Oh, I had goals. I had dreams of a witty book, full of one-liners and humor that people would try to emulate. A tale that everyone could relate to and yet was shrouded in a mist that clouded people from true understand — after all, how many people have worked with fruit flies and the segregation distorter gene?

I barely breathed one page of life into my book. And as I look upon the dwindling days of June and see July hovering in it’s sticky humidity, I wonder if I truly failed?

Don’t look at me like that. It’s true! Maybe I didn’t fail after all.

Maybe last summer was a summer of growth. Maybe it was a time where I got to do whatever I wanted in order to discover exactly what it was that I wanted. Maybe I was able to settle my roots into a new city and meet new people and see how strong my roots could be. It was a happy summer and one that nourished my creativity and inspired me to write over 50,000 words of a book that I could be at least a little proud of.

And maybe this summer wasn’t meant for any of those things.

Maybe this summer is a summer of testing. Maybe it’s a time where I don’t get to do whatever I want so that someday I can do whatever I want since I fattened my resume. Maybe it’s so I can learn how to be transplanted somewhere I didn’t expect to live. Maybe this is where I find out just how strong my roots are when things don’t go my way and I don’t know anybody. This isn’t a happy summer, but it’s one where I get to see just how much I can take and see how many gardening puns I can dig up.

And you know what? I think I can be proud of that.

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.

Once again, I find myself lacking the words to say what I’m thinking — only to discover that someone else has had the same thought! So here’s are ThoughtCatalog’s imput on happiness. Plus a little pep talk because life is hard.

I’m in that awkward stage of life where I don’t know which Taylor Swift song to blast. 22 or Never Grow Up? Both lyrics seem to apply. I’m both “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time” while realizing that this whole world is “so much colder than I thought it would be.”

Adulting is a difficult thing, especially in a new city that you don’t love, with roommates/strangers who you barely know/understand. It’s important to remember the motivation behind the whole ordeal and I’ve been repeating it like a mantra. It’s all for the resume, baby.

And that’s the most difficult part of all. When people ask how it’s been, I’m flooded with dread and despair at the fact that I’m only halfway done. But in the moment, I don’t remember it being that bad. For the most part, I enjoy what I do.

I mean, I wake up not wanting to go to work. While I’m there though, it’s not terrible — I’m just filling in hours until I can go home again. Isn’t that what work is? That’s what I’ve always seen and what I’ve always been taught.

Maybe I should listen to Shake it Off instead…

Duty is what one expects from others.

If I were a princess forced to marry the hideous, hump-backed prince from a neighboring kingdom at war in order to sooth the injuries of battle between nations and provide a child to unite the two countries even though I knew my future husband would despise for the foreigner I was, I would do it.

I am a slave to duty and moral responsibility.

Let me explain. By the way of the previous example, I have now become a princess forced by my parents to marry the hideous, hump-backed prince. These are the very same parents who have clothed me and fed me since I was a child. Because they dedicated years of their life caring for me, I think that it is only fair that I dedicate years of my life repaying them through this truce of a marriage.

The expectation is that I provide the nations with a child to instill unity and peace in the hearts of the citizens. I am a small piece in this chessboard and it makes perfect sense to do whatever I can in order to maintain order for all. Instead of selfishly refusing to marry this prince, I will do so and will do my best to have a child since it would be better for many, rather than for myself.

If my husband would truly despise me since I was from the enemy’s camp, then I would have to understand where he is coming from — aren’t I doing the exact same thing by “dealing with the devil”? Therefore, I empathize with him more than any other and should not blame him for the harsh feelings. In fact, I should work against them so that we can work together to end the war.

And should I hate the man I was forced to marry, be he a terrible kisser, if he reviled me and insulted me every time he looked upon me, I would steel myself and deal with it.

Rules were meant to be bent, not broken. Boundaries were meant to be pushed, not crossed.

I’m a stubborn person, and an independent one at that, but I cannot fight against the burden of duty on my shoulders. Even at work today, I miscalculated the amount of a certain chemical that I would need and my stomach began to churn at the thought that I might request more from my boss when he already asked me what my order should be. Turns out, I still had some extra in the back — but the point remains the same!

Even again, my mom texted me to ask me a question about my bank account and I almost couldn’t give an answer when I realized that funds had been transferred to the wrong account. Nothing bad happened and she was able to give instructions to fix it, but I started to get a headache when I realized that I should’ve been able to prevent this. I didn’t mean to cause her any more problems — Lord knows that she’s had to deal with me for 20 years already!

Disappointment is a crippling emotion. Duty binds me tighter than a chain.

What does that say about me? Now that I know this about myself, will I be able to change? For that matter, will I be willing to go out of my way to work on changing it?

If I say no, will you be disappointed?

A man speaking sense to himself is no madder than a man speaking nonsense not to himself.

The two sides of my brain were having a conversation:

The left side –
I am not a math test or a scientist. I am not a mathematician or a perfectly linear graph.

The right side –
I am not an artist or a writer. I am not the dancer you see on the stage nor the athlete on television.

The left side –
I am the way you know how to color inside the lines or stay on the bicycle after the second try.

The right side –
I am the vibration in your fingertips in clinking wine glasses.

The left side –
I am the reason why you can smile 18 different smiles.

The right side –
I am the reason you smile 18 different smiles while counting the crayons in your box set.

The left side –
The reason you can hold a book in your hands or play baseball is because of me. I am how you can play with puzzle pieces and remember the name of your neighbor.

The right side –
The reason you can yearn for something is because of me. I am the muse of who you want to be — every penny that you ever threw in a fountain is my body.

The left side –
I am the one who lets your win at poker and checkers. I am vocabulary and verbose simply because I can be and I want to be. I am analytical and you depend upon me to decode sequences and complicated texts.

The right side –
I am swimming in the ocean for the first time and getting salt up your nose. I am stepping on abandoned snail shells and preferring the orange lollipop over the green one.

The left side –
I am how you can exchange a look with someone. I am probability and your best bet at learning that person’s name. I am how you get up in the morning and why you go to sleep too late sometimes.

The right side –
I am the reason you fill a blank page with everything that you’ve ever felt. I am why you are able to be excited on Christmas. I am the reason you want to travel to Italy and Australia and Scotland.

The left side –
I am seconds and minutes and hours and days and months and years. I am how you made time.

The right side –
I am how you perceive the world. I am not time.

The left side –
I am how you know that it runs out.

The right side –
I am how you know you’ll never have enough of it.

The day we fret about our future is the day we leave childhood behind.

I decided to let myself ferment a few days before writing about the internship at all. I’m going to pour my words out and you can get as drunk on them as you please.

Day 1: I hated it. I considered crying during my lunch break and quitting.
Day 2: I strongly disliked the people but I liked playing with slides.
Day 3: I like it.

Granted, the extreme opinions of the first few days were partially the result of a hormonal imbalance and also caused by the uprooting of my summer home, living with 4 strangers, and being a full-fledged, grocery-buying adult in less than 24 hours.

But today, I have come mostly to my senses. I also made a friend at work today who plays country music softly in the lab and who has a son my age. Furthermore, I know where things are now and I can translate my mentor’s accent into somewhat understandable instructions in English.

That being said, there was a moment or two (or several hours) when I contemplated whether or not I had made the correct choice in my college major if I hated research so much. I was also trying to decide whether or not the money was worth the suffering and playing with stool samples — and you wonder why I thought the internship was crap if I’m literally playing with crap!

Overall, I’m still not totally comfortable with the idea of the internship and the living with four strangers and the grocery-shopping, making dinner-for-one deal. Therefore, I still don’t think I can accurately speak on my feelings.

Are you tipsy, reader? Or just a bit buzzed?

It’s just as hard to go back to a place you once left as it is to leave again.

Hello nomad.

I’ve arrived at my third home in less than a month. I’ve learned to pack very little in a short amount of time and not to have too much of personal attachment to anything for fear of leaving it behind. I’m not sure how I feel about this aimless living, this self-taught, reality-enforced way of dragging roots and never setting them down anywhere. This internship sets me on course for my future education and career and yet I feel directionless.

Enjoy your stay nomad.

I brought very little with me because I knew that I would be leaving again in 8 weeks. I already have 3 weekends scheduled to leave this hovel-y place and I have a suitcase for my shorter ventures. For a person who puts enormous weight on the places where she lives, this scattered life is hard. I’m used to travelling around and living out a suitcase for a month, but this is slightly different. Maybe it’s because I have to buy my own groceries.

Don’t get too attached nomad.

It’s a shallow existence, this rootless one. I don’t do well in rocky soil and droughts make me thirst for more than a sip of water. This summer is so much different than the last one because at least, I was excited for the last one! The hairs are standing up on the back of my neck and I feel tensed to pounce — but on what, I’ve yet to find out. I want this summer to be over as soon as possible, which isn’t exactly the mindset to have when I have 8 hours in a straight-jacket/lab coat. I’m ready to pack up all my stuff in my trunk again and leave this place of adulthood. Every child feels like that though. I am very much still a child.

Goodbye nomad.

“Someday” can be a thief in the night.

One of my least favorite words is “someday.”

It’s worse than “no” because “no” closes a door and allows you look at other opportunities. It’s firm and direct, a blunt word that strikes through reality and changes things. Or maybe, “no” doesn’t change anything at all. Maybe “no” means that you need life to slowly erode away at you until you become the person that you were supposed to be. “No” allows for any of that but “someday” means you’re in the exact same spot you were with no changes to spot on the horizon. “No” can be the safe option.

It’s worse than “yes” because “yes” can be a dynamic game-changer. “Yes” gives you a new title, a new role to fill, a new relationship. “Yes” can destroy an entire nation with the push of a button or launch the research to cure cancer or spark a new invention. “Yes” means something new entirely, something fun, and something possibly dangerous. “Yes” can be the fearless option.

“Someday” is the day you can do whatever you want, the time when all your goals can be achieved, the moment when nothing is impossible. “Someday” is the day you look forward with innocent smiles on high school graduation day before dreams are dashing on the cold hard rocks of reality. “Someday” is the day you look forward to on your wedding day until the ring on your finger is replaced with the steely cold sting of divorce. “Someday” is like the greasy salesman of life telling you that if you sign your name on the dotted line, you will have everything you wished for and more with a lifetime guarantee if you pay $19.95 every month for the rest of your life.

It’s worse than commitment because there is no guarantee with someday. Someday is fleeting and yet, timeless. Someday is always in the future and yet we can tell when it’s slipped through our fingers. Someday is the most unreliable promise. Someday is full of misplaced hope, unguided optimism. Someday is a subtle “yes” with the inflection of a disgruntled “no.”

There’s nothing worse than “someday.”

Most people don’t grow up but all people age.

When I was five, I looked at college students and thought they were old. They were burdened with the task of gathering as much information about the world as they could.

They were different than adults in that way. The adults had gathered the information as college students, sifted through it to discover what they wanted to focus on, and then had thrown the rest away. But college students — no, they knew it all and hadn’t picked through the facts yet. They stuffed those pieces of information in their brain and let them ferment until something sprouted from their fertile mind.

Now that I’m a college student, I see it slightly differently. I miss the naivety of childhood. I know more than I ever have before and I have more questions than ever.

Did you know that I probably have six cancerous sites in my body at this moment? And did you also know that my body is in the process of killing them all off? Some cells in my body are literally committing suicide by blowing themselves up. I’m made up of a million little terrorists.

I have the knowledge to make poisons and antidotes, to create free radicals and carcinogens, to create the puzzle pieces that make a person. I can take the chemical responsible for the cinnamon smell and transform it into the chemical that is responsible for the smell of oranges.

All that and I still struggle with balancing my checkbook.

I’m halfway through college. This moment is the oldest I have ever been and the youngest I will ever be again. I’m aging the whole time but I’m not sure if there will ever come a point when I fully grow up.

I like picking wildflowers, making flower crowns, and then wearing that Nature’s tiara. I like reading nerdy books about the periodic table and articles about fruit fly sperm (let me explain: I recently have been accepted to perform genetic research on fruit flies and a segregation distorter gene in fruit fly sperm. In layman’s terms, I will be tracking this gene and how it impacts the creation of proteins in a mutated location in the nucleus.) I like blogging and watching Netflix. I like dancing in the rain and splashing in puddles. I like applying red lipstick just so it leaves a cool looking stain on my coffee cup. I like talking in random accents, and one day I want to convince a stranger that I’m from a different country.

If these things make me old, then I gladly accept that title. If these things make me a grown up, I don’t believe you for a second.

P.S I got the highest grade in the class on my organic chemistry and I want to brag to someone.