Eat, Pray, Love (and Sleep).

This New Years’ I spent my time in Yasothon, a province in the Northeastern part of Thailand, with my closest friend and her family.

I could’ve stayed in Bangkok with all the glitz and glam New Years promises us… I’m so glad I didn’t.

For two whole days my schedule looked like this: eat, read, sleep, repeat. A month ago I would’ve felt so guilty for living this life of do-nothing luxury, but at that point I wanted to soak in every second of it.

Within the last two weeks I’ve wanted to pack up my bags so many times and hop on a plane to anywhere, anywhere far from responsibility and waking up at 5:30 AM. So many mornings I just lay in my bed enduring the sound of my alarm clock, then I’d return home ignoring the long list of “to-dos” in the back of my head. I felt like I was crumbling, like I was completely giving up.


I learned fairly quickly the language of love in my friend’s family–food. Good food. We ate huge, warm, delicious meals three times a day, and snacked in between. Every time I slept it was always on a full belly. We made a joke on the way back to Bangkok that all we did on this trip is eat and eat! Surely, if we stayed a month long we’d be rolling ourselves back to the city.

It was all okay though because everyone was too busy enjoying themselves to even consider their waistlines. Food brought us all together in laughter and happiness. We made plenty of fat jokes, but none of it was ever taken to heart, no one, not even for one millisecond, thought about turning down a second helping.


I’ll admit, I didn’t do a ton of praying up there, but I did spend each night staring at the moon and stars. That to me, felt a lot like praying.

On the last morning though, I did actually pray, a thankful prayer. I’ve been constantly asking God, “How to be a good Christian?” For numerous months now I’ve felt like I’ve been sucking at it. That morning he finally led me to the folly in my endeavors of following him–my entire motivation had been about escaping hell. Before getting on a motorcycle or on an airplane, before going to sleep, I constantly feared something bad happening because of where I might end up next…

The moment my motivation changed from love to fear is the exact time I started misunderstanding the whole reason and purpose of following Christ in the first place.


I am a complete sucker for love stories and anything romantic, so finally having the time to submerge myself in a good novel was like heaven. “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell, I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of YA books and could use a little escape.

I’ve read so many times–in a hammock, in the back of a pick-up truck with the breeze kissing each strand of my hair. I’ve laughed and cried, had my heart burst into a billion butterflies–all things my body forgot how to do.

Between reading Eleanor and Park’s sweet love story, I’d take the time to dream about mine… well, my nonexistent one that is, but that’s for a later blog post. I’m just so thankful that my weak heart was able to experience someone’s love story, even if it is fiction; the emotions that sprinkled over me felt very real.


I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation. Sure, I didn’t have the fireworks, but I had family. I didn’t have a countdown, but I counted the stars. I wasn’t decked out in some fancy wardrobe, but the perfect weather draped itself over my skin.

For the first time in a long time I was at peace with myself and the world around me. The countryside has a way of making you slow down and appreciate life again.

I try to center my life around a line in one of Mary Oliver’s most famous poems, When I Am Among the Trees, this holiday I think I finally lived it in full…

Walk slowly, and bow often.


some of the family



cutest smile i’ve ever seen


harvesting snails


riding along a lily park


hammock reading


pure sky


Making New Friends

In the past month a vibrant social life has blossomed into my path. I’ve actually gone out on school nights (more than once), did brunch and bikes with someone I just met, and enjoyed a super international Thanksgiving meal with all new faces…

all new faces I thought I’d never surround myself with.

I’m used to safe friends: friends that think like me, act like me, live like me. I selectively shared my existence with those whom mirrored my own.

Life was incredibly dull, lifeless, void of magic and true love for others.

Let’s be honest, it’s easy to love people who remind us of ourselves–we are in love with the idea of us.

At the core, we are mesmerized by all that we are. But the world is so rich in color! Each life is a precious gemstone poured out on display for all to see, and I mean really see, not simply pass by on the street.

I guess I feared myself changing, imagined my canvas smeared with all types of colors I wouldn’t like, imagined my jewelry box filled to the brim of gemstones that didn’t suit my taste, but now I see that I had nothing to fear this whole time. No, I’m not that same canvas, nor am I that same jewelry box, I’m something much more.
More beautiful.
More captivating.
More human

A whole universe blooming with love.

This Body

For my students.
For my travel habit.
For my only 23 years-old self.

I need to take care of this body.

Recently I purchased a gym membership at Fitness First. The place is a dream: the staff is friendly; I have free access to a sauna, tea and coffee; I’m able to join any of the various classes they offer, including ZUMBA; I can go as many times as I want and all for a great price.

I need to take care of this body.

Last month I went salsa dancing, one of my favorite activities to do in Bangkok, it releases a ton of stress and makes my soul sing, this body becomes a thick orchestra, my feet the stage; sadly, I couldn’t dance for long intervals because my legs were so weak, I could barely keep myself and all its strings up. My body was rejecting the very thing it loves to do.

I need to take care of this body.

Kindergarten students require every atom in your body, and then some. My students can play for hours and never got tired! They have enough energy to rotate the Earth, so in order to release some of that movement wiggling in their bodies we twirl and jump and run after nap time. Lately our mini aerobic sessions have been getting shorter and shorter because of me, because my body can’t keep up.

I need to take care of this body.

Travel is one of the few places I have found myself. The best feeling is climbing up a mountain and soaking in the view at the top, and I promise for at least five seconds I can see God, it makes all the trudging up worth it. I somehow have been able to push this body up some high places, despite its protests, but I know if I don’t act soon I won’t be able to avoid its screams and picket signs any longer.

I need to take care of this body, because this body has taken such good care of me–dancing my cares of away, blessing me with fun memories with my students, taking me to great heights.

I want to continue living the best life this body can give me.

So, I NEED to take care of this body.

P.S. Pray for my sweet tooth ya’ll. It’s real.

when your heart falls like leaves

my heart is fragile
a paper doll in a set of strong, clumsy hands
tossed in the wind
a bookmark in a novel he is too lazy to finish

my heart falls as leaves
when summer’s warm, affectionate touch
the body of trees
i am that tree
left cold
left naked and shaking
left stripped away
of everything you gave me

my heart has been broken
and built
and built
to the point of contentment
to the point of embracing
being broken
because it knows
she will be rebuilt
even more fragile
even more delicate
even more beautiful

love me back

the loving comes easy, the staying, the staying calls on all of my strength,
all of that love 

I love you
and I’m wanting you
to love me back
to embrace
my blackness
like I embrace your language
defend my people
like I defend yours
bless me with kind
pour sweet smiles
over my hands
and hold them—
if only
you could see me
like I see you
early in the morning
late in the night
(in my dreams)
always beautiful
and worthy
of staying
of staying
of loving
even when you don’t
love me back

if you saw me like i see you//love me back//the staying

Everything & Nothing

These past few months have been bittersweet. I found a new job that I really enjoy and I have amazing perks that come along with it, such as free housing. All of the comfort and convenience that I didn’t have at my old, crummy job I now have; however, I find myself missing a huge piece that kept me afloat at my previous school–community.

When I tell you my previous job was a MESS, I am not being dramatic. Believe me and the 10+ teachers that also quit last year. The only thing that kept me from losing my sanity was the great group of teachers I had around me. We were a united front, a team of jokesters, a family. So many of my good memories came from them and all of the things we did together: dinner dates, going to the movies, traveling, going bowling, shopping, participating in the Color Run. We were there for each other in the good and the bad. I trusted my co-workers enough to vent, even if it were about the boss. I felt safe with them.

My new co-workers… I don’t even feel safe enough to tell them about my day.

On top of getting new co-workers, I’m also an hour away from my old neighborhood, a neighborhood in which I had built the beginnings of my life here in Thailand. Sure, I had lonely days, but nothing in comparison to what I experience now. I never had to worry about being in a hard place because I knew I had great people within walking distance: my closest co-worker was 10 minutes away; my friend, whom is like a sister to me, was literally around the corner; I knew those who ran a business up the street; heck, I even knew the chicken lady better than most people at my new job. And if I was ever truly in a bind, a quick bike or bus ride away would bring me to other good friends. Sure, I constantly was sweating in my room because I couldn’t afford using too much A/C and I didn’t have functioning appliances to make a decent meal, but I was very much happy and satisfied living there. It was my place with people I knew well.

Perhaps it’s my fault, maybe I could try harder to make new connections in this neighborhood. Or, maybe I still need time and space to heal from the reality that I’m not on my little street anymore.

This whole shift to this new job, in a new neighborhood, with new co-workers hasn’t been all terrible though, I managed to make one good friend; unfortunately, she had to leave early. When she left I was a wet-tissue-and-snotty mess. I curled up into the tightest ball, only coming out for my students and to shower. It took me a while to stop bawling, but I never regained a new friend.

So, now the new semester is starting soon and I did some research on the three new teachers coming in, to be honest, this may be another lonely year for me. I know it’s a bit silly to judge a person based on the little information they allow on their Facebook page, but I don’t doubt my strong sense/third eye of compatibility. I just know.

I have a dream job with dream perks, but my social & emotional life feels like a nightmare.

What strangeness is this–to have everything, but still feel like you have nothing at the same time.



Hopeless Romantic (ish)

This post may or may not be the direct effect of my consumption of the sappiest young adult book ever, a solo session watching the movie, and finally playing the soundtrack on loop.

Yeah, it may or may not be…

Anyway, my whole body is like soft tissue now and I don’t know what to do with myself. My heart is caught up in soothing, and yet, terrifying waves that is a love story.

Olly and Maddy* just made it look so effortless, like floating.

My problem is that I can’t float. Like, at all. I panic and soon enough water starts entering every hole in my body until I sink like the Titanic, except there is no Jack and Rose and on this ship– it’s just me.

I do this to myself. Gladly.

I KNOW, that I KNOW, that I KNOW that I’m a hopeless romantic. Yes, I believe in soulmates, Prince Charmings,forbidden love being the best kind of love, and the craziest of all, LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.

Yes, I am a sick human being. Sick with sweet, sticky, artificial love and I’m kind of okay with that.

Soon the heat of the book, the glow of the movie, the beauty of the music will fade away and I’ll see love for what it really is…

nothing that I truly want.

*The main characters of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

falling in love at a concert

i just felt
in its neatest,
easiest form

i’m not alone

and i believed it.

looked around to see similar bodies
chests building and
eyes wide & alive
like a child
mesmerized by how much the sun
loves them
follows them home
by their side;
awestruck at his mother’s
tummy when she said
there’s a sister inside
–that love exists even when
it’s not seen

similar bodies
by time
by knowledge
by similar bodies

and yet,
built back beautiful again
by all of these disasters.

are monuments for everything

how could we feel

how could we understand loneliness
when our bodies are this close

this is love
in its easiest and neatest form:
our bodies
this close.

Tender Heart

i’ve been known to fall
like dead leaves
heart first into
and their fragility.
feast on cheap
one-second-too-long glances
their half-hearted therapy sessions
with me
never the lover
never the hand in theirs
just the empty space between fingers
the dirt–forgotten
underneath the nails,
the impenetrable, thick skin
not the blood
not the bones

i fall
every time

but now
i’m trying to forgive myself
rename the falling.
call it something
more beautiful,
more intentional

reshaping my mouth
(with my own hands)
call it: