The Great and Small Things I Learned This Semester {Junior II}

I needed to use both handrails to get up the stairs yesterday.

That squat-burpee ladder workout (originally from Peanut Butter Runner by the way!) I did on Monday? Annihilated my legs. I have not been this sore for as long as I can remember, but it has taken me 2.5x longer to get anywhere these past few days. I used to take pride in feeling so sore that I couldn’t walk, but it’s honestly the worst. It’s fine every once in a while, but waddling at turtle pace all day is not functional.

Besides the woe of my quadriceps, today I am sharing the SIXTH edition of…

the great and small

…second semester junior year! Time really does move more quickly every year. Studying abroad in Ireland for the first semester made junior year disappear especially quickly, but second semester was also gone like *snap* ← that.

The culmination of lessons up until now: Freshman I // Freshman II // Sophomore I // Sophomore II // Study Abroad

1) I love being able to cook for myself in an apartment (it literally feeds my overnight oat obsession).

2) I still don’t really know how to deal with cockroaches, but I do know that I can survive after living amongst those six-legged demons.

3) The origins, insertions, actions, nerve supplies, and blood supplies of nearly every muscle in the human body.

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4) How to commit to things that I don’t feel 100% comfortable with (within reason). 

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5) I can meet more native Irish friends my age in Boston that in Ireland itself.

6) Megan has taught me so much about humility, simplicity, and embracing the little things. She has been a wonderful travel buddy and roommate this past year.

7) The dynamic of friendships may change, but that doesn’t mean the friendships have weakened.

8) I can survive 40+ days without peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter).

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9) I really like enchiladas.

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10) It’s still difficult for me to prioritize sleep, but when I do, life is so much better.

11) I do like running, and I need to get over saying, “ehhh I don’t LOVE running.” I love it when it’s with good friends.

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12) Buying regular carrots rather than baby carrots is not as convenient but it is a heck of a lot cheaper.

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13) How to better pray with Scripture. God’s Word becomes meaningful and relevant to you only if you give Him permission to speak through it.

14) Avoid melancholy like the plague. Like when I used to listen to sad songs because feeling sad was better than feeling nothing at all? None of that anymore.

15) I still struggle with perfectionism, but God has really brought me down to earth this semester and taught me that I don’t need to have it all together before going to Him or others.

16) According to my friends, I’m really good at taking selfies.

 I’ll put it on my resume. Is this a transferable skill?

17) How to direct skits.

18) “We are most authentically human when we give ourselves in love.” – Fr. Mark Murphy

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19) I’m happier without Instagram.

20) I should check cancellations online before walking (and royally wiping out) over treacherous ice to reach my destination.

21) Emotional persecution is real. I’m almost numb to it in some of my classes, but although it can be hurtful, it also forces me to become more understanding of why others are so ready to bash on certain beliefs rather than others.

22) Megan and I are solid bread chefs: scones, brown bread, focaccia, French toast. Let us know your carb needs; we’ve got the hookup.

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23) I cry at least once a week for a positive or negative reason (or both).

24) I very much enjoy classic Disney movie soundtracks, Hannah Montana and High School Musical songs (listening to that right now, TBH).

25) It’s SO FUN when blogger friends visit you in college (@Colby)! 🙂

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26) Apparently I look quite different now from when I was a wee little freshman lass.

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my first photo with Lauren ever, I think

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I mean, we ARE two years older. My hips don’t fit into those red jeans anymore, nayyyyy.

27) The sushi and bagels in Boston do not compare to those of New York.

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28) I’m really bad at consistently stretching.

29) The best part of a Red Sox game is the singing and dancing. Sweeeeeeet Caroline {bop ba baaaa!}

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30) The people are what make BU a great school. Walking around campus after most people have left feels sad and empty.

31) Writing when praying is incredibly helpful in regards to staying focused and remembering what happened during my conversation with God.

32) My blog still encompasses food and fitness, but it has naturally incorporated more faith and life subjects recently, and I’m okay with that.

33) God truly is present at all times in infinite ways.

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Thank you to my parents, brother, family, professors, the Catholic Center, friends (including all of YOU reading this), and strangers who have somehow influenced my life for yet another wonderful and fruitful semester of college. ❤

So tell me: 

Three things you learned this semester/since the beginning of 2017! 

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And Just Like That, I Got Busy

Leave it to me to make a 12-credit schedule feel like a 20-credit schedule.

I feel like the busyness dial went from 1 to 100 in the past week, but I cannot complain. I don’t have that much time to write this (sleep is calling), but I thought I’d share some of the things that are filling up my days this spring semester!

I bought a 5-class pass for a modern dance class in Cambridge, since the dance class I usually take on campus was under-enrolled this semester. I don’t care that I have to pay extra and walk 35 minutes to and from the dance class, because this girl wants to DANCE.

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walking with this view ain’t bad

Last week, a couple of my dear friends were sick up the wazoo, so they needed a lot of TLC. My friend Sarah and I made Rachel loads of chicken noodle soup. And then poor Sarah needed some Gatorade and crackers a few days later… 😦

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Megan is a fantastic roommate for many reasons. She cleans things when I’m not around, helps me study for gross anatomy, and teaches me how to properly use chopsticks, because I’m the worst Asian and have never actually used chopsticks correctly (I cross them when I use them).

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this method never worked for me until last week when a Pennsylvania Irish girl taught this Chinese-Laotian banana how to do things right

She also shares her desserts with me.

brownie pudding in a crockpot, black raspberry ice cream, and a buttercream frosting sugar cookie from a box that her mom sent her ♥︎ 

And lastly, she doesn’t judge me when I eat banana something for the 3rd time in a single day.

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banana bread mug cake via Running with Spoons

I went to the dining hall for the first time in eight months last week, and it was fun being in the world of endless buffet again.

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I am working again, which involves cooking up a HURRICANE for my bosses. Last week I made them meatloaf, salmon, baked chicken parm, tuna salad, barley risotto, and roasted veggies. Yes, it did take forever. Yes, I did taste every single one of them.

I will be killing more trees this semester than I ever have in a single semester. Gross anatomy requires all the printing of notes and all the flashcards.

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Megan and I had a Dublin reunion with our lovely friend Cristen this weekend! She goes to a different school, so we met up in Boston for an Italian lunch. (Megan and I miss Italy so much.)

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Megan and I were pretty darn hungry, so we split a meatball panini + side salad…

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…and ordered our own pasta dishes. I got the spaghetti all’amatriciana (tomato sauce with pork cheek, onions, and pecorino cheese HOLY MOLY). 

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it was so good catching up with Cristen! 🙂

Other reasons why I fail as an Asian: I had no dim sum on Chinese New Year. Instead, I ate pasta, meatballs, and pizza. #identitycrisis?

National peanut butter day was last week, and I didn’t even know until Cristen texted me to remind me. Every day is national peanut butter day to me, so it all melds together.

I’ve gotten a couple great gym workouts in this past week + some much-needed yoga/walking days. Check out this intention wall in our gym!

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And all the diversity of intentions…

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“cry less” … “← same”

We had a SEEK reunion on Saturday night, and one of the activities was eating pizza with RULES. We were all numbered off 1, 2, or 3. Ones couldn’t feed themselves their own pizza, twos couldn’t touch their own beverages, and threes couldn’t touch their own napkins. Everyone had to help each other. I was a one, so Fiona and Rachel kindly fed me my pizza (which made me slow down significantly and appreciate each bite).

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“pizza me”

There have been a lot of meetings with some great people and one okay dog.

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our priest’s dog making himself very comfortable behind Rachel in the middle of our meeting

Apartment living has been a little more time-consuming than dorm life, but I’m loving it.

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Although I have to remember that I’m not grocery shopping for a family of four anymore. I may have bought a huge box of salad greens that could feed 10 people. Hence the green in every food I make these days.

Lastly, I’ve tried to make time for reflection, prayer, and good conversation in all my days. I could take the extra hour (or two) to study, but I know that I will not be well overall if I continuously go without filling my soul.

Alright I really need to go to sleep. Hope you all have a great week!

So tell me:

What’s been going on in your life!? (I haven’t been great about responding recently, but I read all your comments and appreciate them so much!)

Did you celebrate Chinese New Year or national peanut butter day?

Do you ever wonder, “how the heck did my schedule get so full!?”

Back in Boston: Same But Different

I think yesterday was the best first day of school I’ve ever had.

And I think it’s because I felt the least anxious I’ve ever felt on a first day of school. There were still feelings of uncertainty and awkwardness in terms of the flow of my day, but there were also feelings of calm and peace. Praise God for that!

Our first day of classes here at Boston University was just one of many things that have been the same but different as I’ve settled back into my beloved Boston.

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Moving in was the same in that the ‘rents and I stopped by Super 88 for lunch after all my stuff was unloaded…

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I was so ready for my fave lemongrass chicken after driving three hours + carrying heavy things up the stairs

…but it was different in that I was moving into an apartment with kitchen things!!

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Also different — I’m not living with my fabulous roommate from the past two years, Jordan 😦 But I am with Megan, and I couldn’t be more grateful!! Rachel also lives down the street, which is a nice bonus 🙂

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I did NOT eat all that cilantro and basil in one go

I have the same bedding since freshman year, but my living space is quite different. There’s…well, space! In reality, I just didn’t overpack (for the first time ever), and I also forgot essential things like an umbrella.

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I’ve been overloaded with the same excitement that I always have when I reunite with old friends and meet new ones, but I also have a different sense of peace that I didn’t have at the start of my sophomore year. I’m not as concerned about impressing other people, and I think I have lessons in humility (← GREAT read) to thank for that.

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lunch at Panera with a friend

I am so thrilled to have FitRec again, where I can do some of the same moves and grooves I used to do last year (I ♥︎ bodyweight/luggage workouts, but equipment is fun too). At the same time though, I’m approaching FitRec with a different perspective now. I feel like I can be more creative with my workouts, since I lived without a gym for the past eight months, and I go into the gym with a “less is more” attitude. Like, I don’t need to squat, use the rower, and the BOSU ball in one workout just because they’re all there.

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Also different — Rachel convinced me to run with her. She’s training for a 10K and she’s still on her easy runs, so I can tolerate that.

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run 3 min, walk 2 min x3 // “If you can’t do that then you need to go to the doctor.” – Rachel

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Found this at FitRec on Wednesday. Peep the second line. Think I could pass for age 4?

I’m tempted to keep my same flakiness when it comes to committing to plans. “Maybe I’ll go,” said Alison always. JUST COMMIT. That is something different I want to work on. Like sleeping over at Rachel’s place on my first night here, even though I was falling asleep in my dinner beforehand.

Cooking at college is different, since I’ve always had a regular dorm and a meal plan, but that just means I can eat the same things I do at home now! It is different that I have to come to the apartment all the time now though. I almost never hung out in my room the past two years in college.

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leftover pho from Super 88 with all the herbs

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you know it 🙂

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the only plates I brought were these Rainforest Cafe ones, and I don’t know why

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my aunt’s homemade banana bread + pb

I want to attack this semester with the same diligence that got me through school up to this point, but I also want to look at my days differently. I don’t want to be busy just because everyone else is or because I want to feel like superwoman. I do want to be productive and live each day with purpose.

That may involve going on prayerful walks between classes, rather than stressing about printing the 13488705 pages of notes that everyone else already printed for gross anatomy (people went HAM, holy smokes). Also different — not freaking about what other people are doing for class.

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It’s okay if I have five or four or even three things on my to-do list. I hope to do those things well, take time to fill myself (prayer, exercise, proper meals, sleep), and take time opening my mind and heart to what others might need during their day.

I’ve always thought that I was being selfish, or at least indulgent, if I didn’t fill up my days with work, but like many a wise (wo)man has stated, we can take care of others and do a better job if we take care of ourselves. Thanks, Lyss and Jen for that reminder as well ♥︎ This doesn’t mean that we need to avoid hard, long days like they’re the plague, but allowing ourselves mental, physical and spiritual space is necessary to tackle both the good and bad days.

Lord, how can I best serve you today?

So tell me:

What are your thoughts on living each day well?

What is one thing you cooked this week?

Do you ever get overwhelmed at the gym? Or with seeing new people?

Pray, Eat, Move, Groove, Nap, Repeat

When this happens during spring…

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…you think…

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…so when this finally becomes real…

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…you GET THE HECK OUTSIDE.

I’m typing this on Monday night, but it feels like a Sunday because we had an extra day off for the Boston Marathon! But the weekend fun definitely kicked off on Friday…

Friday

Class, lunch, bible study…

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tuna salad, artichokes, lettuce, tomato, roasted vegetables, and pesto in a whole wheat wrap

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corn muffin 🙂

…and some moves and grooves outside with mah girl Christina from @foodietunes and Fit University! We warmed up and started with a 12 minute HIIT workout. 3 rounds of 30 sec work, 10 sec rest:

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12 minutes can take it out of ya

Then we messed around with some yoga-y moves and partner pistol squats!

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She also convinced me to have force-fed me a couple bites of her Zinneken’s waffle with chocolate, cookie butter, and whipped cream. Life isn’t fair sometimes.

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It was decadent and amazing

Then I cleaned myself up for dinner with my friend Zoe, followed by my roommate’s fashion show that night!

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She is FIRE. Always so cool to see her rock that runway (← sounds like an ad for a new Target teen clothing line).
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I have never felt more awkward posing for a photo than in this moment. I have a lot to learn from Jordan in terms of effortlessness:

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via Mint Julep Facebook

Saturday

I went to bed way too late for getting up at 6:30 on Saturday. I joined some friends for BU’s Global Day of Service for the morning and early afternoon. We went to the houses of senior citizens to help them with yard work. It was a lovely day to be outside, and we all enjoyed meeting new people, serving, and reflecting on the day!

Afterwards, Rachel and I proceeded to shower and take long, delicious naps. I set my alarm for a 45 minute nap, but 90 minutes later I woke up not knowing anything.

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“5:45…am? Wait no, it’s sunny outside.”

After grasping a sense of reality, I did some random things before going to dinner with my friend Mai. We had some beautiful convo ♥︎

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that quinoa-stuffed tomato was fantastic

I spent the night in my room by my lonesome, so I watched this Crossfit “Behind the Scenes” movie on Youtube, practiced handstands, did this ab workout, did laundry, and worked on a paper. I really enjoyed the “me time” to recharge (extravert who is secretly an introvert?).

Sunday

Up and at ’em early-ish again for a fabulous girls’ brunch at Sarah’s (one of the Catholic Center missionaries) house!

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THIS WOMAN. Not only a radiant and inspirational woman of God, but a killer chef. She made us a crockpot egg/sausage/bacon/hasbrown casserole, blueberry cream cheese french toast casserole, and roasted potatoes. Whaaaaaaaat. Thank you so much, Sarah! ♥︎

‘Twas a beautiful day again, so a few of us took the 25 minute walk back to campus.

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We went to Mass and lunch before doing some work (TBH, I just folded my laundry from Saturday night and took a 20 minute nap). Then I went on a short run with Zoe before we met up with  Joe for the 1000 REP WORKOUT (← caps for dramatic effect).

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I’d been asking my friends to work out with me for a while now, so I was stoked that they joined me for some moves and grooves outdoors. They made it a fun and funny workout 🙂

Refueled with milkshakes (milk = protein, so essentially protein shakes).

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The rest of my evening consisted of Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen, dinner, a much needed shower, and homework.

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the finish line the day before the race!

Marathon Monday!

Since Boston University is in the heart of Boston (unlike the arch nemesis, Boston College) and the marathon course runs right through campus, we get a day off of school! Some of my best girl friends and I started the holiday with a lovely pancake breakfast in the morning. Rachel was in charge of pancakes, I sautéed the bananas, and Zoe cooked the eggs. Dream team.

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I loved Rachel’s impressionist pancakes.

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one with almond butter, one with peanut butter (and then another with blueberry syrup…and another with more almond butter) + glass o’ milk!

Then we hung out before heading to the Mile 25 marker of the marathon course!

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Atsede Baysa— first place woman!

I can’t get over how fast and resilient these people are. Holy cow.

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I screamed a lot again this year, but not as much as last year. Sparing my vocal cords was a smart decision. But my favorite things to yell at the runners are:

  • “YEAHHHHHH!!!”
  • “COME ON!”
  • “YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!”
  • “YOU GOT THIS.”
  • “DIG DEEEEEEEP!”
  • “KILLIN’ IT!”
  • “KEEP IT UP!”
  • “YEAH CANADA!!!”

My friends reprimanded me for that last one.

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We also got to see one of our friends running in the marathon (he finished in 3:00:05!!!), which was so awesome.

After a couple hours of cheering, I went to eat lunch and take a nap. I felt like I could nap for an eternity, but I got myself up after an hour and went to do some errands, move and groove a little bit outside, and do some work before having dinner with my brother and typing this up.

TL; DR — pray, eat, move, groove, nap, repeat.

Hope you all have a marvelous week! Cheer someone on (including yourself).

So tell me:

Did you get to go outside this weekend?

Have you ever spectated a big race? Are you a big cheerer?

Two things you did this weekend!

How do you feel about naps?

Five Minute Friday #12: Fear of Failure

I woke up in the middle of the night doing sit-ups, I KID YOU NOT.

I think I was dreaming about doing the sit-up test in high school phys ed, and as I was waking up in my hazy state, I felt the need to continue cranking out the reps. Hahaha ew.

I’ve also been going to sleep and waking up pretty early this week — bed at 10:30 ish and wake up at 6:45 naturally. Oh what glory! The early sunrise and blue skies for the second half of this week have been making me so happy.

Other things making me happy this week:

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big breakfasts: two eggs scrambled with veggies + whole wheat french toast with almond butter and banana + glass o’ milk

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impromptu d-hall dinner with the roomie (and her provocative captions…we sleep in our own beds FYI)

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visiting chefs in the d-hall! calamari salad + chicken with veggies and polenta

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ice cream with sprinkles + mini cannoli

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last exercise phys lab with the coolest lab group

My first article on Fit University! It’s basically the story of my journey to fitness and health ➔ “There Was a Time When the Healthy Living Community Was Bad For Me.”

The last thing making me happy(ish) this week: Asking God to be humble me and getting exactly that. Yeesh, ask and you shall receive, am I right??

That last point kinda leads me to this week’s Five Minute Friday, which is about fear of FAILURE. I way cheated this week and made the vlog almost 7 minutes, mostly because my brain is a wee bit slow and I can’t form words quickly enough.

link to the video!

Three day weekend up ahead for us at BU for Marathon Monday/Patriots’ Day! Yeeeeeya. Hope you all have a fun weekend!

So tell me:

Are you afraid of failure? How do you deal with it?

Have you ever woken up doing something really weird?

What’s making you happy right now?

Know anyone running the Boston Marathon!?