I Feel Like I Should Have Learned This A While Ago

I am currently watching a video for my ethics in healthcare class, and so far I’ve seen a C-section, prostate surgery and throat surgery in the past 15 minutes.

I’m not that faint of heart, but this is making my vision a little blurry.

Good morning! What a way to start this post, eh? Here’s a picture of an appealing breakfast to counteract those thoughts.

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Sorry if you don’t think Greek yogurt, banana, and peanut butter are appealing.

I am only a week into this Dublin study abroad program, but I am already wondering: “Why did I ever not want to do this??”

Believe it or not, I really did not want to study abroad for a while. The main reason was FOMO— I didn’t want to miss out on all the fun and friendships back at Boston University. I also didn’t feel a strong tug to study abroad, so I wrote it off as “not for me.”

In the end (obviously), I chose to study abroad in order to challenge myself. To learn about other people. To travel. To get outside of my cushy, mushy comfort zone of friends, family, and familiarity.

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although cheese toast with eggs and sriracha for lunch is pretty familiar 🙂

My reasons for coming to Dublin are not quite unique, but I know that my experience here is unique. Who will I meet? What will I learn? How will I grow? Will I even gain anything?

I won’t reflect too extensively today, but two things I have learned this week are that:

  • Sharing a kitchen with over 10 people is both an art and a labor of love.
  • Education should be driven by a desire to learn and become a better person, not merely by a desire to “do well.” I always knew this one, but I have only recently realized that I get so nervous for school because I feel pressure to primarily do well. Retain information, apply my knowledge after the course, etc.— all those were secondary thoughts to me. It’s sad, but it’s true.

I feel like I should have learned that latter point such a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always loved learning, but only selectively and usually outside of a classroom setting, where the thought of grades wasn’t oppressing me.

I still break a tiny sweat when I think of learning and writing about something completely out of my comfort zone, but that’s where the growth happens. And, as Fr. Mike Schmitz said, if I am motivated by gratitude (for the gift of learning) rather than fear (of not doing well in the course), then I can be free.

Free to think. Free to question. Free to innovate.

And on the kitchen topic, I actually enjoy the kitchen parties. Minus the dirty dishes and questionable amount of smoke that we produce in the kitchen. I contributed to the smoky room with my Irish grass-fed beef burgers (am I trendy yet!?).

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on multigrain sourdough toast with ketchup, mustard, sautéed onions, white cheddar and spinach + cherry tomatoes on the side

Lookit!

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Plus this classic thanks to Madre hauling over dried figs for me in her Mary Poppins bag.

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dried figs with Greek yogurt

All we need in this dorm is the laundry machines to be up and running. Patience is virtue, but dirty laundry is gross.

Lastly, I want to wish Madre a very happy birthday! I’m sure this lady is feeling twenty twoooooo ooo ooo! I love you, mama!

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So tell me:

Have you always been motivated by a desire to learn in school? Or have you had desires to “just do well”?

Have you ever had to share a space with many people? My four-person-family life at home is a premium.

If you’ve ever studied abroad, what was your main reason for going?

Sharing Food and Sharing Life in NYC

I am wearing fuchsia yoga pants right now and I feel fabulous.

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trying not to pull my tight hamstrings

I decided to attend ballet class at my old dance school tonight last night, but I don’t think I fit into any of my leotards and tights anymore. Ergo, these bright and fun capris! I never wear this color, but I’m a fan.

(Thanks for buying them for me, Madre ♥︎)

These past couple of days I have been meeting up with a few friends to share food and share life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in college, it’s how to be a better listener and sharer. Last year, I developed a deeper and much more sincere interest in other people’s lives (especially people I don’t know that well).

I’ve also come to believe more that my own life experiences are worth sharing in conversation. I mean, I share my life to the whole world on this blog, but no one has to read it if he or she doesn’t want to. In real time conversation, however, I used to be afraid to talk about my life because I didn’t think it was interesting or that the other person wouldn’t care. Sometimes that’s true, but you never know which little stories could turn into great conversations.  It sparks human connection. I’ve said it before: Your story matters and it’s beautiful!

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Anyway, let’s talk about Monday. It started off with breakfast, an 8 minute ab workout, and a train ride to Grand Central.

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whipped banana oatmeal: 1/2 c. oats, half banana, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, chia seeds, an egg, and peanut butter

I was on my way to see my girl Colby, who was one of my cabin-mates at Blend Retreat last year! We met up at Grand Central before walking to The Picnic Basket for some bomb-dig sandwiches.

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French Goat Cheese – chicken, sundried tomato pesto, grilled zucchini, figs, tomatoes and fresh greens on multigrain

This thing was massive and so tasty. I ate one half and saved the other half for later (ended up being Pop’s dinner on the train ride home!). Then it was time for the 50+ block walk to get the beloved…

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Lloyd’s carrot cake! Remember when Ben and I detoured to get this over Thanksgiving break? Colby saw my snapchat at the time and told me she wanted in on it.

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I wasn’t mad about it.

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does she love me or the carrot cake?

We housed our hefty slices of carrot cake WITH raisins and walnuts (major key) while our fingers froze off. FUNNY STORY: When we were walking back, we stopped at a Barnes and Noble to use the restroom, and my fingers were so cold that I couldn’t re-button my jeans. I am telling you, I could. not. do it. My fingers were deprived of the energy to do any sort of fine motor movements. Luckily, I was wearing a big ol’ belt, so I just buckled that over the button and called it a solution.

Moving on.

We walked only 20-ish blocks back before we decided to take the subway to Grand Central where Colby and I parted ways. It was such a privilege to spend the day with this girl! She is so genuine and kind, and I admire her balanced outlook on food and fitness.

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From there, I had two hours to kill before dinner with my lovely friend, Christine. After half an hour of catching up with some things on my phone, I explored Grand Central.

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casual squash tournament of champions going down

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Grand Central Apple Store

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Grand Central Market

You literally have everything you need there.

My phone was running low on battery, so I walked to a Duane Reade pharmacy and stood awkwardly behind a wall of paper towels and nail polish to charge my phone at an outlet. Then it was time for dinner at Lan Larb with Christine!

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spicy basil pork with rice

I thought I was still full from carrot cake until I finished this whole thing. I guess that’s what walking over 23,000 steps does to ya!

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p.s. I never check this app, but I was interested on Monday since we walked so much!

It was so fun catching up with Christine and having some great girl talk. She is such a sweetheart (with substantial sass!).

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I need lessons from Christine on how to pose in photos

Bonus: Yesterday I met up with an old friend from high school for lunch! She was kind enough to reach out to me so we could catch up.

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tuna cucumber and eel avocado roll (my faves!)

And that, my friends, is how to share food and share life. 

Just kidding, do it however you like. This was all a grand time though. I am so grateful for good people and nourishment.

So tell me:

Are you an open book, closed book, or somewhere in between when it comes to sharing life stories in conversation? I’m still somewhere in between, but I’m more of an open book than before! Also depends on the person/context obviously. Fun fact: I used to be more introverted, but according to my most recent Myers-Briggs test, I’m an extravert!

Have your fingers ever been SO cold that you literally couldn’t move them?

What is the best thing you ate Monday/yesterday? The carrot cake for me. Duh.

The brightest color of clothing you own!

Fascinating Friday Links #35 + Hunger Monster

Hiya!

(HIGH-ya, not hi-YAH! Although, I am a ninja, so I guess the latter would be appropriate too.)

I really wanted to have Amanda’s oatmeal cookie dough smoothie this morning, but since our AP Calc class is having a celebratory breakfast party today (seriously, that class is just about food from here on out), I decided to have the smoothie for dinner last night. Satisfied the craving. 🙂

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Using Amanda’s no-fail recipe with added spinach, ⅓ c. oats instead of ¼ c., and peanut butter instead of almond butter. With Greek yogurt on the side for dipping, of course.

*Adding this at 5:30 in the morning: Apparently, as filling as this smoothie was, I guess it was not calorically sufficient for me, considering I just woke up STARVING at 5 AM. That hasn’t happened in a long time! (Don’t fret—I’m not revisiting any old habits. I just wanted the smoothie last night, and I’m paying the price for such a light dinner.)

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The typical snack. Plus another spoonful of peanut butter after I finished this. The hunger monster attacked me.

{Alright, back to sleep…hopefully}*

Oh and here are this week’s moves!

Monday: 5 min. stair master + 3 rounds of: 10 pistol squats each leg, 15 bulgarian split squats each leg, 1 min. wall sit, 25 hamstring ball roll-ins + 8 minute ab tabata

Tuesday: Ballet

Wednesday: 5 min. row + arm workout (that involved TRX tricep extensions➔ soreness!) + 8 minute ab tabata

Thursday: Modern {dance}

Friday: Dance company auditions for next year. Current company members do not have to re-audition, but we still have to go to lead my example! So sad that this is the last one for seniors though… *Tear*

My mom cancelled my gym membership this week, so I have one more month left to attend. It works out well because dance will be ending by the beginning of next month too, so after that, I can truly just focus on REST!

Anyway, onto the link love. Enjoy this week’s Fascinating Friday Links!

fascinating friday links

Health and Fitness

[Stress could be the culprit] Is Stress Sabotaging Your Health and Fitness Goals? via Your Trainer Paige

[Because there is nutrition advice EVERYWHERE] Why Registered Dieticians Are The Best Source of Nutrition Advice via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

[I need these] 3 Running Mantras That Work Every Time via Greatist

[But if you don’t want to run…] 5 Metabolic Interval Conditioning Workouts (Without Even Stepping On the Treadmill!) via Your Trainer Paige

[Awesome tips] How to Stick With Your Workouts: Tips From Consistent Exercisers via Carrots n Cake

[Plants don’t get enough credit for their protein content] What’s The Deal With Protein? via The Real Life RD

[Move and groove] HIIT the Hill Workout via Fitnessista + TRX Circuit Workout via Peanut Butter Fingers + 12 Minute Interval Workout with an Equalizer via Purely Twins

Food for Thought

[Ask yourself] 20 Questions That Will Free Your Mind From Negativity via Marc and Angel Hack Life

[Important to remember these things] Building Self-Confidence via My Food N Fitness Diaries

[Interesting] White Privilege via Snack Therapy

[Honest] Truth About Pregnancy Exercise via Tiny Blue Lines

[I’ve been on both sides of this] Now We’re Questioning Encouragement? via Olive to Run

[I don’t have a furry friend, but these are awesome] 8 Lessons I’ve Learned From My Dog via Better with Sprinkles

Mother’s Day

15 Healthy Mother’s Day Recipes via Chocolate Covered Katie

10 Easy Brunch Recipes for Mother’s Day via Greatist

Gift Guide via Peanut Butter Fingers

Food for Belly

[Mhmm] Super Easy Coconut French Toast Bake via Pinch of Yum

[So many flavors!] Roasted Spring Vegetable Cobb Salad with Honey Herb Vinaigrette via Iowa Girl Eats

[I’ll take both pans…] Peanut Butter Butterscotch Skillet Cookies via Bake Your Day

[Clouds of sweet delight] Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream via How Sweet It Is

[Summah] Blueberry Lemonade via Damn Delicious

Miscellaneous Fun

[Is this real life?] Kids Absolute Crush Salsa Routine via Huffington Post

[THIS is real life] 10 Signs You’re An Exceptional Procrastinator via Thought Catalog

Happy Friday, everyone!

So tell me:

Do you ever just want a smoothie for dinner?

What is the strangest thing you’ve had for dinner recently?

Current exercise?

Favorite links?