Monday, November 30, 2015

Being thankful

Kaixo readers,

Disclaimer, this post is personal and long, so if you are not interested in my struggles, feel free not to keep reading.

Thanksgiving break is long gone, and while it has been absolutely awesome, I have not been able to tell anyone what I'm thankful for. Not because I didn't have the chance, but because I really don't know if I should be thankful for the past year. Don't get me wrong, I am really thankful for my family and friends, having a job and all those things that have been a constant in my life. I am thankful for those things and for them not having changed.

However, when I read everyone's posts giving thanks, surrounded by happiness and joy, I felt that I could not share that feeling. This year has been the most challenging test in my life. It hasn't been one of the most challenging, no, it has been THE most challenging. I've experienced loss, heartbreak and desperation, but most importantly, I've experienced struggling against myself. My mental health has been at its lowest point. I have struggled against my waning feelings, my lack of interest in everything I felt passionate about and the exhausting physical feeling of impending doom.

I have to say that the end of my relationship was a blessing in disguise. The morning struggle and everyday anxiety and depressive moods have diminished, which makes my daily life easier. I don't cry everyday. I have days without a single negative feeling in my mind. I laugh hysterically with my roommate and friends, and I have broken free from my auto-imposed perfectionism. I study hard every single day, but at the end of the day I do not feel like my life is pointless, or as if my life was measured by the A+s. If I cannot do it, it's okay.

In spite of the improvement, I still struggle. I struggle with loneliness, and my future prospect of it. I imagined finishing grad school and moving to a new place, and how hard it would be to meet new friends. The other day, I had nightmares about being home alone day after day. I struggle with wanting to be with somebody and the absolute panic it causes me to think about commitment, about going through another painful relationship all over again, the terror it causes me the prospect of being stuck with someone. I have tried to meet new people, and I have, but I cannot connect with them. I have not been able to like someone romantically, the butterflies I used to have are gone. There is no excitement.

I sometimes wish I hadn't been in a relationship, that I'd still be able to be hopeful about true love. But here I am, and I'm dealing with it. I wish I were thankful about having learnt a lesson, but how does that help me now? I cannot see my life going anywhere better, happier or fuller. I live, but just because I have to.

In any case, I can hope for a better future, for being able to feel the beautiful feelings I used to have before. I AM THANKFUL for my loved ones to keep me pushing for a better future. It will come.

- Ane

Friday, November 27, 2015

Halloween OOTD: It's Britney B***h

My loneliness, is killing me, and now, I must confess, I still believe. When I'm not with you I lose my mind, give me a sign. Hit me baby one more time!! As I mentioned a week ago, I was Britney for Halloween! Let me show you what I wore so that you can replicate it if you're out of ideas! :)

I found another Britney. Her name was actually Britney!
Cardigan: Forever 21 // Shirt: Zara (old) // Bralette: Forever 21 // Skirt: Ragstock // Socks: Forever 21 // Shoes: J. Crew Factory (old) // Bag: Lefties (old) // Hair ties: Amazon // Ribbon: Hobby Lobby

Most of my stuff is old, so let me give you easy (and cheap!) alternatives for you all:

Oxford shirt: J. Crew Factory

Ballet flats: J. Crew Factory

Crossbody bag: Forever 21
There is a great thing about this costume, and that is that no matter what you end up buying for it, it'll still be wearable for any other day. How awesome is that?

- Ane

Monday, November 23, 2015

I'm off to...

OREGON!!! Yayyyyy!! One of my besties from U of I, Kelly, moved there this August, and gosh I miss her so much! This summer I talked to her about how I should visit and all that, and I mentioned it to my parents and they were like, heck yeah, you totally should go! So I booked my flights two months ago, and I leave today! I actually left for Chicago yesterday to shop a little (treat yo self!) since it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I'm flying as we speak (5:30am, UGH), and this time I'm happy to report I'm NOT flying Spirit. My route is Chicago-Denver-Portland, and I get there at 10am. I really don't know what we'll do, but I'm 100% sure I'm gonna go to a brewery, eat donuts, and twerk with my dear Kelly. Again, any suggestions are more than welcome!

- Ane

Friday, November 20, 2015

Missing In Action

Kaixo my dear friends,

It's been... too long. And a shame. I honestly have no other excuse than being swarmed with work. At least, I gotta say, this semester feels better than the last. I have recently started a certificate in translation at the university that makes me feel very confident about jobs outside academia! Not that I don't love teaching, I do (my students are still absolutely HILARIOUS), but I get tired of doing work ALL day EVERY day. So let me recap what has happened in the last month in my life.

Whenever Halloween is coming, I get very worried about my costume. Is it gonna be good enough? Will I have an original idea? This year I had SO MANY ideas that would be great for Halloween back home, like culturally relevant stuff, but I know for a fact that no one would get it in Champaign if I dressed up in those. These last two years I think I've done a killer good job with my choices:

Regina George: 2013 Halloween was one for the (burn) books. My dear friend A, who works for a major engineering company, was sent to Milwaukee for some training for 3 weeks, so she drove all the way to Champaign to visit me! It was 4 days of debauchery fun, showing her around the U of I campus and shopping. My costume was SO EASY to make. I had the black tube skirt and shoes from a long while ago, so all I did was to go to Forever 21, get a cheap tank top and a simple JC Penney cardigan, a purple bra, and I was golden. If I had a dollar for every time someone in the street shouted "MEAN GIRLS!" at me that weekend, I wouldn't be in grad school. And I got plenty of secrets signatures in my Burn Book.

French Kiss: 2014 was "punny." And VERY COLD too. Thank goodness I came up with this awesome idea. I bought the beret and handkerchief at Ragstock, and spent some money in makeup. And that was it. Because honestly, what girl on earth doesn't own a bateau shirt? My biggest fear was how to take off all that make up after the night, considering I had worn make up from 9am (taught in disguise y'all) till the early AM of the next day... But I was very lucky and I enjoyed it SO MUCH!

So this year, I had to make sure my costume was as awesome or even better than the previous two. Honestly though, they were hard to beat. But suddenly, I had an epiphany. I had thought of this costume many times but I always ended up choosing something else. In any case, this year was the year. I become my childhood idol, BRITNEY SPEARS in "Baby One More Time":

Needless to say, they played the song at every place I went to, and I got multiple compliments. I really did feel on top of the world wearing this, so I think my mission was accomplished. I am planning on a post on how to make this costume, which honestly, was the easiest thing ever! Hopefully it doesn't take me another full month...

My Birthday!!
That's right, I turned 24 ten days ago! I think it's a hideous number myself, but there's nothing I can do about it so #suckitup Ane. Birthdays have always been a huge thing in my family. My parents used to wake me up that day and hug me with a warm "Zorionak!" (happy birthday in Basque), and I loved starting the day like that. Every year my mom would say "OMG you were so tiny when you were born, and look at you now!" I've been celebrating my birthdays abroad for the last 3 years (funny that my 21st was in Spain while all the rest birthdays in my 20s have been in the US... Shitty destiny I know), which make me a little gloomy the days before. However, as usual, my friends here make me feel very special.

I started my day off at the gym at 7:30 (#fitnessgoals, although it's still a struggle for my night owl self), and when I got home, my roommate had a huge teddy bear and breakfast for me in my bed with the sweetest note. I LOVE HER SO MUCH! <3 After that, I stayed home talking to family and friends back home on Skype and went to class, where my 3 classmates and professor (#gradschool) wished me a happy birthday. After that, I went out to dinner with some friends, and honestly, the turn out was fantastic, I felt very special. :)

Since my birthday was on a Tuesday, I couldn't do much partying, so we celebrated that Saturday with another November friend at my apartment. It was PACKED. And I had SO MUCH FUN!! I wish I could express my overall satisfaction and delight about the party, but alcohol ran like rivers, so my memory is basically a turmoil of party songs, selfies, twerking and gossip. In any case, I am proud to say my roommate and I are the best party hosts in da worlddddd #bragging #wakeupflawless.

Ma people!

I love these girls!
Meet my awesome roommie <3
After that, my days have consisted of library hours, sugar and caffeine, but I am extremely excited because a) it's finally THANKSGIVING BREAK, and b) I'm going somewhere on holidays... It's green, with mountains, and one of my BFFs lives there. It's also a very hipster place. Any ideas os where I'm going? ;)

- Ane