I’m Still Alive!/Life Update

Hello dear friends! I can’t BELIEVE how long it’s been since I last posted. I’ve missed the teeny, but lovely, community I found here on the internet, and so much has happened since I last posted that I’m not really sure where to begin. Since I’m prone to writing long, drawn out essays about the deep and dark parts of life, I decided to force myself to just put something out there. So…since it’s been nine months since my last post, I’m going to write nine big (or not-so-big) things that have happened in my life in these long months!

1. I got another tattoo.

Yep… I did it. I got another tattoo. This one is a bit different than my first one, because I didn’t think about it quite as much, but I still love it. It’s fireweed, which might actually be my favorite part about living in Alaska. In the late summer fireweed blooms all over, turning the mountains purple and bringing a unique and beautiful color to the landscape. I’ve always wanted a tattoo to represent my home state, and although it’s (MUCH) larger than what I anticipated, it’s still something that brings me hope. Fireweed is the first plant to grow back after a wildfire, so this tattoo reminds me of my strength and resilience, whether or not I feel it all the time.

2. I discovered the complete gift of Catholic therapy.

I was able to start seeing a Catholic psychologist in October, and let me tell you friends– it has CHANGED THE GAME for me. Seeing a therapist who understands my faith and the way my mental health affects my spiritual life has been a great gift from God. I trust my therapist so much, and he understands me in a way that none of my secular therapists have. If you have access to a practitioner of your faith, I highly recommend taking the extra step to help both your spiritual and emotional life.

3. I completed my 33-day consecration to Divine Mercy.

Back in October, my significant other and I did this consecration together, and it was truly beautiful. The book 33 Days to Merciful Love by Fr. Michael Gaitley reminded me of the great and intimate love the Father has for us, at a time in my life when I couldn’t see that love myself.

4. I studied abroad in Rome.

I went to Rome in January of this year, and I will never be the same. I saw the faith in such a concrete way, and I grew in friendship with so many beautiful people. I also experienced great hardship, and saw my friends suffer so patiently and with such strength. Rome was a true pilgrimage, a complete shitshow, and an incredible blessing. I plan to post more later. The featured picture of this post is where I lived for two months.

5. I visited London… and it was pure magic.

Guiseppe, the lovely front desk clerk (seriously, Guiseppe is amazing. He’s funny, loves St. Padre Pio, and is studying to be a gynecologist!) at the convent we lived in for two months in Rome, told me that London was completely magical, and by far the best city in Europe. I didn’t quite believe him, because we were already living in the Eternal City for heaven’s sake… but I should have. We only spent a weekend in London, but I could have stayed there for months. London was incredible.

6. I left Rome… two months early.

This is where the “shitshow” part of studying abroad in Rome really became apparent. In just a few short days, I went from telling my family back home to chill out to leaving the city I’d called “home” two months early, getting on a plane, and taking a 48 hour journey home, with less than a day to prepare. I’m still reeling from this one. More details to come later.

7. I experienced my first broken heart.

Yep. Didn’t like this one very much. Still don’t.

8. I got yet ANOTHER job as a Certified Nursing Assistant… and this time, the people are even weirder!

After going crazy at home in quaratine for a few weeks, and realizing that I didn’t like having negative dollars in my bank account (ALWAYS buy travel insurance people. You never know when there will be a global pandemic), I decided to renew my CNA license and start working 12 hour shifts at a rehab and skilled nursing care facility. I wanted to be useful and busy, and boy, did I get what I asked for. I’ve learned so much in this job, and already cried in the bathroom once. I’m sure there are many more tears in the bathroom to come.

9. I purchased Disney+.

This might not seem like a big life event, but trust me, it is. Disney+ has gotten me through a breakup, a global pandemic, and an illness that (hopefully) isn’t Covid-19. I’ve always loved Disney, and, even though I have most of the movies on DVD already, it’s so nice to be able to access them wherever I am, and to relive my childhood by forcing my roommate to watch Hanna Montana: The Movie with me.