Grieve the Important Things, Even If They Are Only Important to You

2020 is largely a dumpster fire. There are plenty of things that I’m still grateful for – the best parents and brother, Eli, Hirt baby, Ollie, my savings account, evenings on the balcony, etc – but I really believe the year in its entirety is the root cause of my shingles. This year has robbed…

Coastal Getaway with a Side of Shingles

I was laid off on July 1. Obviously being unemployed is not ideal (especially with that $600/week coming to an end), but I’m using this as an opportunity to dig my heals into the Portland nonprofit world. Working remotely for my job in Indy was great in so many ways. There’s a lot to be…

Who Knew Pete Holmes Was so Profound?

Today I made the Salty Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Bon Appétit. This particular batch has a nice origin story. It begins with a no-contact flour exchange with my friend Allison (she with the buckwheat flour, me with the coconut flour), and ends with a delectable plate of cookies that I will eat all by…

Dispatch from Quarantine

Today has mostly been a drawn-out argument with the paper cut on the tip of my right thumb. It’s deep and painful and I’m sick of it holding my thumb hostage. I miss being able to use my thumb. I also have three other paper cuts across my two hands because I spent a long…

Avoiding

Someone asked me recently if I’ve been writing. He asked me why when I told him no and I said, “Because I’m happy.” Saying that was equal parts true, false, and made me feel like a phony. It’s true because I’m pleased to share that for the most part, I am happy. It’s also false…

Grief’s a Bitch

There, I said it. We’re just over a week out from the 2-year anniversary of John’s death. Boggles the mind. The last two years have been a series of ups and downs, and I’d venture to say more ups than downs. I’ve tried my hardest to make the best out of a shitty situation and…

Small changes. Big difference.

I’ve dubbed 2019 to be The Year of Tessa. I’m 27, I work three different jobs, and I live with my parents (bless them). Why would this of all years be The Year of Tessa? I’ll explain. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I’m in a position where I’m able…

Grief: Year Two

When I started reading things about grief after John died, I frequently came across the idea that the second year of grief is more difficult than the first. I scoffed every time I read that. How can the second year be harder? How can any feeling be worse than what I’m feeling right now? Now,…

10 Words to Know Before Arriving in Costa Rica

Original post can be found here. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, far behind Chinese in first and barely snuffing out English in third. With so many native speakers scattered all over the globe, accents and dialects run rampant, making Spanish sometimes tricky but mostly fascinating. Each region’s dialect offers a…

Going Through Changes

I’m beginning to learn a painfully obvious lesson: what has been cannot be again. Deep, I know. When it comes to travel and living abroad, I’ve discovered this to be even more true. When I arrived in Sámara last November for the Costa Rica TEFL month-long course, I was thrust into a group of friends that…