Monday, May 24, 2010

don't worry. this entry does not contain anything about bieber.

ok this post is going to be melancholy and moody and introspective, and i'm going to blame it on the fact that LOST ended last night and was... just... so, so bad (yes, that is a legit excuse for feeling blue, and yes, i am considering giving up tv because these kinds of reactions cannot be healthy). it was like taking an awesome, really fun road trip, only to realize your final destination is gary, indiana. was it worth it? yes. am i disappointed? obviously. why am i still thinking about this. MOVING ON.

stay with me, non-LOST people. i have faded to black and i'm now going to talk about my actual life.

anyway, i guess i should talk about running. it is not going well. i have neglected to write because i don't want to have to admit how poorly my training is going, but i have been realizing that writing is really important to me - and there is a great sense of release and freedom that i only feel from writing - and i need to just get my thoughts out there anyway, as disappointing as it may be. my running sucks, LOST sucks, my room is a mess, my car is a mess, my job is stressful, and i eat clif bars for the majority of my meals because i'm too tired to grocery shop like a normal human being. i can't get it together, but neither can the LOST producers, so i guess we all just need Jesus (was that the intended theme of the finale? no. yes. i don't know. who cares? i promised to stop talking about LOST. i'm sorry. it's a sickness... or you could say, an infection. ahhhhhhhh i'm done. for real)

so yeah, my running has been off. i've been sick this spring. sinus infection, cold, stomach flu, general exhaustion, foot problems, not eating well, not sleeping enough, two trips to the doctor in two months (TWO!). so, i thought of just being like, well, i'm going to run this freaking marathon in june. i may completely hate myself the whole time i'm doing it, because i'm not prepared, but at least i will have done it and attained my goal. it's all about doing things and attaining things. finish classes, finish college, get a job, get a promotion, get a new job. but then, what happens when you're just... there. you're just at a place. i'm just at a job and i don't know for how long and how do i embrace life and my call to serve God when i'm just in a place that's frustrating? when i'm not doing things? does it matter if i run if i can't say "oh yeah, i finished that marathon. now i'm training for another one. i'm doing things. i'm training for things. i have accomplishments that i can rattle off to show that i am a good steward of my time and energy because look at my concrete accomplishments." (if you can't already tell, i'm also having some inner emotional issue-y things with my job, my career goals, my philosophy of work, etc etc my brain never stops spazzing)

so yeah, i wanted to run the marathon because, come on, i told people i would and i'm trying to raise money, and who wants to support some flake who's like, "ehhh i've been sick cough cough cough so i'm going to just do it a little later...." i know i'm not actually a flake (well, not always, i hope), but it's just a thing. in my mind, taking time off = i'm lazy. that's just the way i think. maybe that's not the healthiest viewpoint, but that's a psychological issue for another day, another blog post. so, after being realistic about my limitations (thank you, my job, for humbling me to this point. and yes, that is sarcastic), i realized, no, lauren. just... no. you cannot do this right now. you've been tired and sick and too busy and unable to prioritize your life to give yourself the time (and rest) needed to train properly, so just don't try. my body told me this. and also, my mom :) the motherly wisdom is painful to listen to, but it's good and it's true. but it's so painful. i'm 23. why can't i just frickin' do things? why do i have to be like, ok young girl - you do not have the energy for all of this! so, all of that to say... i'm postponing the marathon a couple of months. i'm still going to do one, but i had to be realistic about the fact that i just wasn't ready. i do not like that. but i'm going to roll with it.

as amazing as this year has been - in so many ways - it has also been limiting, mostly in terms of my body and my job. limiting. that's the best word i can use, i guess. like, my job has been so hard for me, at times, and the thing that used to always just be mine - and place where i was free and happy and totally full - was going on a nice after-work run. but then that just got so much harder, because i would be too tired from work, too sick, too busy, or something else... and it was hard.

so i hope this doesn't sound complainy. my writing also sounds depressing, but if you could see me now, you would see the joy that i get out of releasing these words out into cyberspace. really, i love life right now. so much. i feel more confident and content than i have... maybe ever. and i have someone who not only accepts but LOVES all this weird crap about me, and i'm just like, what? but, ok. i'll take it. who does that? i don't care. i love it.

but i am also an emotional girl and a young person trying to figure out childhood + college + random experiences + getting ready for the rest of my life + ideals that i want to stick with me + ideals that i've realized are not important = what? i have all these things and i'm trying to add them up to be something i understand, and i just don't always understand. why do i need to understand? because i've been trained to synthesize everything i've learned into a 15-page paper? maybe.

so, this entry is coming from a place of just... figuring out life. and realizing that i am - in no way - in control. i can love things and be passionate about things and embrace things - but God's ways are higher than my ways. i always thought that was so obvious, but obvious in a way that i could still grasp. like, ohhh i wanted to go to clown college but God wanted me to go to circus college and now that i'm at circus college, i'm like, ohhh awesome! i get it! thanks, God, for making sure i only got into this one college, which i thought was a curse but is really a huge blessing!

but. that is not how i feel. things are not easily understood, like that. i feel like i try to figure out my ways and God is like, oh gosh, just stop trying. just live faithfully and don't worry about running a marathon when YOU want to or having a perfect job. and what are His ways? they are higher. so much higher. i can't even keep thinking about how much He is in control because it will make my brain hurt and also everyone will stop reading. my ways are low (not as low as the LOST producers', though. just kidding. nope - i'm not. i'm still bitter).

so what am i even talking about? i don't know. every post ends with me feeling a small sense of release - but i also have just rambled for so long that who even knows what i'm talking about anymore. but, for some reason, i always feel a little more like me. because in writing, it's just me and God (and google), and it brings me to a place of better understanding my place. so, yay. that is good.

so, thank you for reading. that is all (for now).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Annnnd, we're back.

Well, hello. It's been a while. I believe my last post, from over three months ago, contained a promise to blog more. But, just like my other New Years resolutions to learn to sew and make a dentist appointment, that kind of went out the window. However, I have had a deep sense of guilt about all three things - though not enough to actually do anything about them - so I don't know if that earns me any points.

Anyway, I apologize for not writing more. Although I haven't been writing, I have been running. I have toned down my run lengths a little bit, partly because my foot acts a little funny sometimes, and partly because my job is stressful and I work too much (if my employer is reading this, that previous statement was a joke; if you're not my employer... it's true and it's my excuse). I have not quite figured out how to prioritize my life and get everything done without wanting to pass out every night, but I am trying. I am living and learning. Living and learning. Soon I would like to stop learning and just live, but that is probably never going to happen. So, I try to figure out how to prioritize. I should start reading Real Simple. And sleep more. That's as far as I've gotten.

So, it's finally nice outside and I've been doing a lot of my longs runs on the wonderful path by my homestead. Being out there on a sunny Sunday is... pretty wonderful. It's just a very happy, peaceful time for me each weekend, and I love it.

Helllllllo summer. I have missed you.

Today's run: 11 miles


Glee (especially the cover of Lionel's "Hello")
Ke$ha, Tik Tok (ashamed of myself)
Black Eyed Peas, Imma Be (even more ashamed of myself)
Josh Fix, Random Dents, Constant Moans (I love him -he's kind of Elton John-ish (double parenthetical statement because I just saw Elton in concert and it was amazzzzzing) but of course, not as good as Elton. but still, very good)
Justin Bieber, One Time (if you know who he is, don't judge me; if you don't, he's... a classical pianist)
some obscure Boyz II Men (shockingly, I did not already own their entire catalog)
Miniature Tigers (my new favorite band. and yes, I did wikipedia them to make sure they haven't been around since like 1995, thus making me look like I don't keep up with the times. But I guess I already gave myself away with the fact that I went to an Elton John concert)

So you can probably tell from my stream of consciousness babbling that I haven't written in a long time, unless you count work emails, and then I'm like JK Rowling from years 1997-2007. That joke is a blatant rip-off from a website that is much more fun to read than this one, Go there now. Not now, but in 20 seconds when you're done reading this post (and donating!! muahahaha!).

Thank you to all who have already donated! I apologize for the delay in processing them, on my end. I swear I actually get paid to manage projects and keep things on schedule. Sometimes I just struggle. If you want to read more about WHY I'm running this marathon, please check out my very first entry ever. My blog entries aren't Babysitters Club books - I'm not going to "reintroduce the whole gang" every time I write. So many bad 90s jokes... I'm on a roll today. However, if this is your first time reading, please do check out the first entry which really explains these incredibly important causes I'm running for. I like running, but come on, nobody actually likes running 26.2 miles (if you do, then I hate you. slash am very jealous of you), so I want to stress how important these causes are and how they actually make me want to run.

Thanks for reading; more to come soon!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Thoughts from Kenya

OK, scratch every positive thing I may have said about winter running. I take them all back. I just came back from a 2-mile run, which I know is pretty much nothing, but I happen to be very proud of it considering it's currently -4 degrees outside. Yup, that's a negative sign. In nature's defense, part of the reason my run was bad may have been because I had pigs in a blanket for dinner last night...

However, it IS sunny, so I think some endorphins were released. YAY! I know I said that the purpose of this blog is to raise money for a couple of initiatives in Kenya, but I am also accepting gifts of free trips to Hawaii. Just FYI.

Anyway, a couple of months ago, my Program Director from Kenya emailed to introduce me to Andrew, who was interning in Kakamega. He informed me that Andrew would be leaving Kenya in December, and then moving to Chicago in January for a job. So, Andrew and I started emailing and I got to learn more about how he decided to go to Kenya and what kind of work he was doing there. During his time there, he worked with an organization that was expanding into the microfinance field. This is a big interest of mine, so I was excited to hear more... Although I don't know if I have permission to share his accomplishments, I will do it anyway :) While working for this organization, he:

1. created a Field Officer position - he also trained the woman who filled this position and got her out into the field - so far, she's been very successful in collecting from defaulters!

2. created a Basic Business Concepts curriculum, which he presented at a training event

3. created a database for all the MFIs in Kakamega - because the practice of loan-hopping is pretty bad, this database will help insure that borrowers aren't borrowing from other institutions to pay back loans

I was super impressed by all of this work! From my experience as an outsider in Kenya (or any country, I'm sure), it's easy to come in with your own ideas of how you can improve things, but it's so hard to actually find something to do that's needed - and to do it in the appropriate way. I can tell that his initiatives were all very needed and useful, so, I'm impressed!

So, since I like to rope other people into doing things for me, I asked him if he would like to write something for my blog, and thankfully, he did! Below is something he wrote about his time in Kakamega, which I think is really awesome - and really captures the spirit of the Kenyan people. Enjoy!

When I look back in the future, Kenya won't be this one, large chapter of an experience in my life. Instead, it will replay in my head through a series of comical and humbling encounters with Kenyans that have influenced me whether they know it or not. Take for example:

Kenyans' excitement for meeting new people. The boda boda (bicycle taxi) driver that whistled and shouted to get my attention. I almost ignored him as your typical tout, but when I took a moment to slow down and talk to him, found that he was super excited to ask me to give him a ride to my destination on his own bicycle taxi.

Kenyans' excitement for sharing their work and abilities. The piki piki (motorcycle taxi) driver I got to know through my work at a microfinance institution who took a chunk of his Sunday afternoon to teach me how to drive a motorcycle. His hand-picked circuit: a place where he claimed was safe (as he told me to scoot up to the driver's seat) because "it has fewer cows and chickens walking around".

Kenyans' excitement for spontaneity. An invitation by my work supervisor to visit his home village, which, as with all Kenyan "plans", got changed. Next thing I knew, I was sitting on a charter bus with the entire Zanzibar national football team off to watch a Central and East African football tournament.

Kenyans' resilient spirit. A visit to a women's group named Yote Yawezekana (Everything is Possible), where I sat in humbled silence as 16 women laughed and shared their stories of joy and hope as widows living with HIV. Then, meeting orphaned children who, given the opportunity for education through a nonprofit, are succeeding at the top of their class.

Kenyans' honesty as people. The barber who initially shaved my head to my horror with complete disregard to my instructions. Who, when I arrived for my bi-weekly haircut ready and willing to shell out 50 shillings (66 cents), told me in complete honesty to come back a few days later because my hair was still short.

Kenyans' genuine care for friends. The way Kenyans stop to shake hands with and greet every friend they see for a genuine conversation of at least 15 minutes even on their way to some meeting or place. The utter frustration I feel when a Kenyan, having met four friends on his way, shows up an hour late for a meeting. Then, the knowing smile that comes to my face when I know that's how much Kenyans value each other.

In just two weeks, I'll be on a plane heading out of Kenya. However, the people I have met formed such a deep impression in my life, and I'm looking for my way to stay connected. Development work could honestly have happened and does happen in similar ways in a number of other countries. So as rewarding as it was, it's not the work that will keep me wanting to come back. As I've learned, it's the people. That is why I'm super excited about Lauren's run in support of Abbey and Hayley, because I know in their unique experiences, they've felt the same way and have found that connection. Until you get to go to Kenya to create your own stories, live vicariously through them!

Thanks, Andrew!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

my new year's resolution is... to write more?

Uhhh so it's been about a month! I am slacking.

Actually, I don't know if I'm slacking so much as I'm just busy and scatter-brained, but either way, I have not done a good job of keeping up with this, so I apologize. I've also been ridiculously bad at returning emails, cleaning my room, and keeping my phone charged. And my car battery functioning.

I have some marginally important things to say, but right now the only thing I can think about is how relaxed and happy I am today. I am on a business trip to Niles, Michigan, and let me tell you, I was not too excited about this trip. My superior at work dangled the possibility of Thailand in March in front of my antsy little nose (that's not a real phrase but it seems very accurate right now)... Thailand! in March! (aka the worst month of the year when I think my bones have totally frozen up right inside my body) It'd be so hot there! And also I'd work hard! But that was ripped away and replaced by a trip to a little town I've driven by approximately 6,457 times in my life. I swear I don't like my job only for the travel opportunities. But my little soul likes to go places and see things and engage with different cultures (and sometimes get frustrated at them - I'm not a saint, here - but generally I love it). So anyway, I was like, whatever, this is dumb. Not really, because my job allows me to learn things and be challenged and go to the doctor for only $20. But those were just my emotions at the time.

But then I got here today and I was expecting to stay in some sort of Econo Lodge or something... but no, we are staying in a legit lodge. Like we drove down this windy path in the country, and at the bottom of the hill, by the river, was this gorgeous, huge home that looks like it belongs in the English countryside (or what I imagine the English countryside to be based off many viewings of "The Holiday"). And we all have separate rooms (the for-profit world is really blowing my mind), and I'm currently sitting in the best bed I've ever sat in. Tonight, my co-workers and I sat in this beautiful great room and one of them played the piano, and we sat and talked and looked out this big window at the trees covered in snow, and a fairy (slash the woman who works here) heard someone say they were hungry, so she brought a plate of warm cookies. What? Am I being paid to do this today? I do not understand jobs. Some days I feel like I work so hard and deal with such annoying crap, and I think, I am not paid enough! And then some days I sit by a fire reading a good (non-work-related) book and drinking hot chocolate and I'm like, umm I'm robbing you people blind!

Anyway, tomorrow we have an all-day meeting, and I will need to focus by that time, so my boss isn't like, "LAUREN. We are not paying you to stare out the window and day-dream about going snowshoeing and baking cookies." But for real, I do not think I will actually need to be prompted because hopefully I will just be a minutes-taking champion on my own strength. Also I should not sit in a chair facing the windows because good glory, this place is a beautiful.

Anyway, the reason this has been so amazing is that I was feeling very blah about life. LIke the kind of blah where I try to think of how things might be better, and then I just get tired and depressed so I stop, and then I'm just back to being blah. January always makes me feel crazy and depressed and cold, and there's nothing to look forward to, and SAD kicks in, and I just felt like I had nothing going for myself and no direction. And I know that's not true, but sometimes it's just hard to see past your own insecurities. And when people say "Oh just look at the positive things in your life!" - I just don't think that helps. Because I'm a girl and I'm emotional and sometimes if one thing is going poorly then by default, everything is going poorly. But today, I just felt like God was telling me to take joy in life. Not in things (ie my job's going well, I have good health, etc...) but just... life. And yes, maybe part of my joy today is artificial happiness over fireplaces, and gorgeous Christmas trees that have yet to be taken down, and cute little rooms that are so CUTE. But I feel a greater sense of peace and joy, where God was like, get excited for your life because I want to make it exciting! Don't just try to be content with things that you don't love, but either get excited for your life or make changes where you see fit! (I don't think God is actually speaking to me like He's a life coach or something, but this is just the basic sentiment of what I feel). And I think sometimes if I have one area of life that I'm particularly upset about, I think to myself, well crap if I'm already so far behind in XYZ, it's going to take forever until I'm content with who I am. But today I got the sense of God saying, are you kidding?? If you start from zero everytime you think you messed up, or something's not right, then you'll just always be stuck in a state of frustration and isolation.

And maybe none of this makes sense to you (b/c honestly, I'm just rambling and not re-reading), but if it doesn't, just lie and say it does. And could I start any more sentences with "And" or "But"?

So! I don't know what any of that has to do with running, but I just wanted to share it and it's my blog so there it is. Speaking of running, it is going well! I bought new running shoes! So we'll see how those work out. I have high hopes. Also, I wanted to run yesterday morning, but didn't have time to go to the gym before work. And I was like, ehhhhhhh it's freezing. But then, I knew I had to run. So I braved the cold and did 3 whole miles because that's all my frozen body could take. Someday when I raise my family (on the equator, preferably), I'll tell my children stories about how they should be in awe of me because I used to run in subzero temperatures. And they won't even be able to comprehend what I'm saying because they'll have lived on the eqautor their whole lives, and I'll be like, "yeah life is happier here" but secretly I'll resent them for not understanding the pain of midwestern winters.

OK - it's time to end this post because I'm just saying things.

Thanks for still reading despite my long hiatus!

I promise next time will be less me-centric and more Kenya-centric! I have a fantastic post from Andrew, who recently returned to the US from an internship in Kakamega, and has recently moved to Chicago! And he went to the University of Michigan, so all Michiganders should get excited about that. Stay tuned!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Does anyone else feel like it shouldn't be December yet? Just me?

Here in lovely Illinois, we had our first real snow of the year this past week. Even so, it doesn't feel like December yet; I can't believe Christmas is in less than two weeks. I am currently burning a "Balsam & Cedar" Yankee candle to get myself in the Christmas mood, but even that is not really helping.

This year, I only have to buy two Christmas presents (yay for drawing names!) and I am so thankful for that, because:

a. I don't have the energy to shop
b. shopping in the suburbs is INSANE - last weekend, I went to a strip mall nearby, and after driving up and down the aisles, I had to leave because there were no parking spaces - are we still in a down economy? Not according to the crazies at Old Navy. No sort of economic downturn will stop Americans from buying fleece. In the interest of full disclosure, I am currently lounging on the couch in my new, insanely comfortable fleece sweatpants from... you guessed it - Old Navy. So, you know, whatever. I'm a hypocrite, I guses.

When I started writing this post, I didn't mean to turn it into a pitch... I just felt like complaining about how annoying Christmas shopping is, but then I realized I had a golden opportunity - so here it is:

If you are like me, you probably receive many appeals each Christmas, encouraging you to donate to some organization in someone's name - instead of buying them a physical present. If you do feel so inclined to give to this cause, or if you are like me and simply have no desire to brave the malls but still need to buy something for someone :), please consider giving a donation to Water for Shikokho and Just One Person. If you've been reading this blog, you've read these sentiments a million times, but I can't stress enough how important each cause is. Any money you donate will be used to bring clean, drinkable water to those who do not have it, and to educate and empower young girls in rural Kenya.

If you do choose to take advantage of this, simply let me know for whom you're making the donation, and these organizations will send this person a letter to say that a donation has been made in their name. If you inform me soon enough, I will even send a fun Christmas-y note to this person so they have a token of the donation in time for Christmas!

Again, my email address is, and there is much more information about these causes located at:


Like anyone, I enjoy opening presents (I opened - no joke - about 8 presents at my company's gift exchange yesterday), and yes, I suppose buying gifts at the mall helps support the economy blah blah blah and that's important, but I think we tend to give gifts that:

a. you didn't really want to buy and
b. the recipient probably doesn't need and would've been happy without

(that said, I would be completely lost - literally - without my parents' gift of a GPS last Christmas...)

So, if you have to buy a gift for someone but are, like me, fatigued by the idea of having to brave the mall in search of the "perfect" gift that you'll never find, please consider donating to a cause that is meeting peoples' basic human needs.

If you know of any others who:

a. have a lot of people to buy gifts for
b. hate crowds

(sidenote: I don't know why I'm using this abc list method so much today.)

then please direct them to my blog!

I KNOW that this is the time of year when people are looking to donate money. I know this because I recently started working at a company that does fundraising consulting, and I've learned that people give at Christmastime. Maybe that's intuitive... but now I have numbers and stats to back it up, sooo now it's officially a fact. I know you want to give money. As always, contact me for more info. Thanks a million to those of you who have already donated, and if you haven't, thanks anyway for reading my blog :) and I would be so excited if you'd partner with Water for Shikokho and Just One Person to provide some very important human needs! Thank you!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Memories. From the corners of my mindddddd......

This post has nothing to do with "The Way We Were," but whenever I think about the word "memories," that song pops into my head and will not leave.

In light of the fact that I had nothing interesting to say tonight, I thought I would share something that I wrote when I was in Kenya, two years ago.

Sometimes, when I journal/blog, I read my entries weeks/months/years (ok, sometimes mere minutes) later, and I think "Ugh that's annoying. I can't believe I wrote those things." And that is why journaling is so great, because it makes you take a critical look at yourself. I should do it more often. Why don't I? I don't know. I'm lazy.

Anyway, sometimes re-reading journal entries is painful because I'm like, "yes, not only did I write these things, but I may have also said them out loud." When strong opinions go unchecked, and are savagely released into internet-land, bad things happen. Because maybe later you will realize, "hmm... once I actually learned more about (insert subject here), I realized that maybe I was wrong." But it's too late. Because everyone's already read your blog. But I guess, whatever. Life is a growing experience. Could I use any more cliches in this journal entry?

So, sometimes my old writing is annoying and weird but cool because I can see how I've changed or grown. This post I'm sharing comes from a particularly teachable/vulnerable/humble time in my life. So, I like it. I should probably only write when I'm feeling humble and teachable, because then I'll always look back and think "Oh OK. That's good."

If you knew me two years ago, then maybe you already read the post, so you don't have to read it again. But, if you're wondering why I am running a marathon to support causes in Kakamega, I think that particular post shows why my time in Kenya was so incredibly wonderful, challenging, important, and growth-filled.

I will leave you with a completely unrelated thought, and that is, although "almond peanut butter with sea salt" may sound appetizing, it is - in fact - not. I don't know, I just feel like that needed to be said tonight.

Also, I just want to say THANK YOU to those of you who have already donated! If you haven't, and you feel so called (note that I wrote this entry on payday muahahhaha), I would be so extremely appreciative! Again, you may do so by clicking the button on left side of the page, or by sending me a check. If you'd like to do the latter, email me at and I'll send you my address.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ohhh life. This post might be whiney so feel free to skip over it.

I am currently up at 11:56 p.m. (on a Tuesday!). WHAT is happening to me. This is not normal.

I have been really busy lately, and have not had sufficient introvert-recharge time. I'm fairly sure that's a real thing and I'm not making it up. I've been dealing w/ old job craziness (slash insanity) and new job craziness (aka I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm mentally exhausted) so I'm not really able to focus on anything, such as blogging. However, I should try, b/c blogging is like therapy for me since I'm too poor and lazy to get actual therapy. Must write more to offset emotional spazzing.

Anyway, I threw a "dinner party" for some former co-workers this past weekend. It was so much fun, but I am kind of over this whole trying-to-impress-others-with-food situation. I cooked a chicken pot pie totally from scratch, except for the crust which was pre-made b/c a very good cook (aka my mom) said it's OK to use pre-made crusts :) Also, I bought wine, not anticipating that so many of my guests would also bring wine, and so now I have many bottles of nice wine! Keep in mind that I define "nice" as wine that costs more than $6 per bottle. So, it was tons of fun, but I was in "go" mode all weekend, with minimal time to myself, and for an introvert such as myself, it was challenging. And then I've been at my new job, which is great and I like it, but it's also like ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what am I doing. I had a moment today at 5 p.m., so my brain was pretty much shut off, and I was trying to address a problem on my own... and two co-workers were like, "Ohh ok, just do A,B,C, and D. Got it? Ok bye!" and I was like, "Oh yes! Got it!" And then two seconds later I realized that they were just saying words and I was just responding positively in an effort to move things along and I had no idea what 90% of it actually meant. And I think I quasi figured it out... but I still needed a lot of Lindt chocolate when I came home, which tells me that my brain needs some sharpening. (And also that I need to eat some turkey and fall asleep on the couch watching Elf)

Also, this man at my new job was asking me how I'm doing, and I hate when my new co-workers ask me that, because I don't want to say "oh I love it!" because then they'll know I'm lying, but I also don't want to be like "umm I feel overwhelmed and I'm possibly going to have an emotional breakdown" because... that's weird and it's too soon to talk about crying in front of new co-workers. Maybe someday. But not now. Anyway, what the heck was I saying... oh, so this guy at work was like "how are you doing?" and I said "I'm doing well! I'm overwhelmed but I'm feeling OK!" (using the "sandwich" technique I learned in middle school to fight off my fellow 6th graders who were trying to peer pressure me - aka "I like you as a friend, but I really don't want to smoke, but I'd still like to go see a movie with you!") That stuff works. Yeah, this guy is older and experienced and good at his job (when will that day come for me...) and he was like "Ohhh OK!" (aka "I'm not buying your BS") and he said "I think you're catching on! But I've seen that fawn-in-the-headlights look on your face a few times!" And I was like "hahahahah I know! My face betrays me." And it does. While some new employees might be able to put up a nice front before they go home and cry themselves to sleep, I cannot do that. If I feel like oh-my-gosh-I-do-not-understand-this-job, my face completely reflects that. It's great. It's great because there's no use in trying to lie because nobody believes you anyway.

And now that it sounds like I'm a literal mental person, let's move on.

Umm wow. Running... I have nothing to report. I ran today on this teeeeeeeeny tiny track at the Y, with about 7 other people. Small track, 2 fast runners, 2 slow runners, 1 walker, 1 small child, 1 guy doing situps in the middle-ish of the track. This, my friends, is a recipe for disaster. I just want to yell "everybody run at the same speed! and get the child off the track!" but, it's the Y, and they are concerned with family values or something like that so they allow children everywhere. At the gym, I'd prefer children to been heard and not seen, because if they're seen, that means they're in the way. Anyway, it is annoying, and I am now searching for a new gym that has a larger track. And less small children.

Goo. So, if you find my writing annoying and self-indulgent, please rest assured that I feel the same way. I just re-read this entry and thought the same thing. However, I promise to write some legit things extremely soon (helllllllloooooooo thanksgiving break, I have never been more excited for you) that are not whine-centric and will hopefully be interesting and enriching. I feel kind of bad because I want my writing to be uplifting and I'm not sure how well I've been doing with that... Anyway, I do appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this, and promise there will be much more interesting stuff about what's going on in Kakamega as soon as I figure out how to prioritize my life better and not just write about nonsense. Stay tuned. It'll get better. I promise.

OK, that's it for now. Going home for Thanksgiving tomorrow! 4-day weekend, good food, family, friends, crappy Lions football... ahhhhhhhhh, it's home.