The Most Romantic Date I’ve Been On- Meeting Chance for the First Time (Part 1 of 2)

I met a guy. On the internet. Well, technically on a dating app. And technically I met three guys before him. But this post isn’t about those other guys. This post is about Chance. I gave him that pseudo name a couple days after we matched. It just felt right. He’s a year younger than me and while I haven’t done a ton of dating myself, I clearly remember wise women in my life telling me not to ever date younger men. “Guys mature slower than girls”, they said. “Only date younger guys if you want a boy not a man”, they said.

 

First Impressions

So, even though Chance is only a year younger than me, I was wary. He didn’t have much on his profile either. Just a few pictures of him in a cozy sweatshirt with his curly hair or him on a beach. His scant profile was generic with the typical interests cited: anime, movies, and one somewhat standout thing- that he is learning to play guitar. What can I say? He’s cute. I swiped. A few days later so did he. And like that we matched. I understand that’s not the most romantic story, but what would follow comes close.

He said “hey” (plus a happy emoji). Not something cheesy or a pick-up line. Just hey. That was red flag number one. Haha, just kidding, I remember thinking that was odd as it had not been my experience with the other guys. Either way, I forged on and we struck up a conversation. We talked about several different things. Not at all forced or overly formal like it had been with the other guys. I remember thinking he’s super chill. We eventually got to the topic of him learning to dance. To which, I replied I’d like him to teach me a few moves. He said he was just beginning and that I’d have to be the judge of his dance skills. I saw my chance and I took it!

Mind you, I’d been waiting for this guy to ask me out on a date for a couple days now. So, what did I do? He said I’d be the judge of his dance skills, so I slyly responded, “When’s judgement day?” That’s (sadly) one of the coolest moments of my life. X) And just like that, I had a date with Chance. That whole process was different too. I guess I did ask him out, but I assumed he’d take over from there. Nope! He gave me a range of days, I gave him a range of times then he asked if I had any place in mind. It’s kind of cool how we decided on the date together.

 

Date Part 1: The Café

Tuesday sometime after 5 pm at a random café I picked from Google maps. Those were the official date plans. I got out of my rotation early that day to procrastinate for our date. I ended up showering and getting dressed then dashing out the door, wet hair and all. I almost jogged to the café (which was about ten minutes away) where I waited in front of a big green bush until Chance arrived. He was about 15 minutes late. It was cute how we found each other. He sent me a text he was outside but couldn’t see me, but that he was wearing a blue shirt. I’d already told him I was wearing a black and white shirt. We both turned a corner in the tiny parking lot in front of the café and seemed to notice each other at the same time. That was cute.

Ah! Detail. We’d been messaging in English ever since we matched. So, I said hello in English when I met him. He responded in English with saucers for eyes. I smiled and laughed internally, deciding “Spanish. Definitely switch to Spanish”. X) With that, I began speaking to him in Spanish. I could see him breath again and knew that was the right choice.

I’d never been to this café before, so it was a tad awkward to go inside and try to order. He’d never been to this café either. Eventually though, we ordered a coffee and sat down to talk. It was the epitome of small talk. All polite and neat. Eventually we finished our drinks and I waited for him to make some excuse to leave.

Instead! He asked if any of the pastries/ baked goods had looked appetizing. He wanted to keep talking! ❤ Aw! I’m not a complete idiot, so I followed him to the counter to pick out something sweet. I got some corn bread and he got a slice of carrot cake. A few moments later as we sat nibbling our respective treats, he asked if I’d like a bite of carrot cake. Cute! I offered him some of my corn bread and we continued chatting. Eventually he asked if he was everything, I expected he’d be. I said, mostly. However, I expected him to be more extroverted. He seemed to be by via text, but here I was chatting incessantly to fill up space. Boring stuff about my internship mostly. :p

He said he’s usually shy around new people, but is a completely different person with his closest friends. I smiled. I’m the exact same way. I suppose many “shy” people are this way. There’s just has to be trust to be oneself. Cake was gone. What now? He answered that quickly. “Want to go for a walk or something?”, he asked. My heart sang. “Yes!”, I replied.

 

Date Part 2: The Drive

Once we got outside though, he paused and asked if I preferred to walk or drive around for a bit. I thought for a second then said that as long as I ended back in my neighborhood, I was good with either. He chose the drive, so I hopped in this red Mazda to parts unknown. I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell. Maybe dangerous, since I don’t really know this guy, but definitely exciting. Here, in his car, he started to ease into the moment and the conversation. From this point onward, my memory turns hazy. It feels like a dream.

He told me he’s clumsy. I bragged that I’m also super clumsy, but oddly I stumble at least three times a week, but never fall. “I’ve mastered the art of catching myself!”, I said proudly. He told me about someone robbing his car some time back. I shared I’ve only had my bike stolen before and that broke my heart, couldn’t imagine someone robbing my car (which is back in Texas). He verified that I’ll only be in Puerto Rico till the end of my internship in June. Five months. I’ll be here for another five months. I asked what his future plans are and he said after graduating this summer, he plans to stay in Puerto Rico for a few more months before probably moving to the United States (Miami, Florida).

 

Date Part 3: Old San Juan

When we stopped, we were in Old San Juan. Everyone I know says it’s a must visit. They quote the nightlife and the art and history. What they didn’t mention is how beautiful the architecture is. The streets are big and open. A giant plaza. Here we started walking (again, I have no idea where to) and talking about his photography. That’s a big thing that stood out to me: his appreciation of beauty. So genuine. We found a bench to sit and chat. It was peaceful. There were lights in the distance from ships and buildings. The bench we were sitting on was a few feet from the marina and on the other side was the path to what Chance referred to as “the castle”, a historical looking building.

After some time, we walk up that path and find another bench by the castle as we chat about tattoos (Chance has two; I fear permanence). There are other people here hanging out around the benches a little ways away from us. Two steps- no, not even! Chance goes around the left side of the bench and probably sat down the exact moment my ankle gave out and I fell shin first onto the gravely rocks surrounding the bench. Ouch! Haha, real life foreshadowing. I shouldn’t have bragged about my not falling skills.

Luckily though, as part of that conversation, I’d also mentioned how I hate it when people try to help me up if I do fall and how my first instinct is to hop up and pretend like nothing happened. I don’t like making it a big deal. And that’s exactly what I did. I was laughing so hard! I jumped up cackling and limped to the opposite side of the evil bench to sit next to Chance. He was laughing too, asking if I was okay between chuckles. I assured him I was perfectly fine. And that if I wasn’t, I would never admit it. X)

It hurt, guys. A lot. Later when I assessed the damage, turns out I earned a conglomeration of about four to five big, ugly, green bruises on my right shin, one deep brown bruise on my left shin, and even a tiny brown bruise on my inner forearm. What the heck? Who knows, but at the moment I just laughed it off, trying not to let my wincing let on how much pain I was in. Who decorates the last step around a bench with rocks?!

Who knows how, but the next memorable part of this section of the night, apart from him asking me to ask him questions (he said he liked seeing how flustered I’d get trying to think of something) was when he subtly bragged about his kissing skills. It was something like “people say I’m a good kisser, but I don’t know, that’s just what they say…”. Oh, I got the hint, guys.

 

Interlude: A Word on Affection and Promiscuity

Let me be real for a sec. I told you guys I’m not promiscuous. Uhh, yes and no? See, I like affection. Physical or otherwise. But I don’t often get physical affection. At home, yeah, my mom and dad (even my brother sometimes) would give out free hugs. My best friend greets me with a hug. I have a cuddly dog. Here? For seven months I’ve been on a literal island. No family. A different version of friends (all interns which means they are also my peers). None of which are huggy types. Least of all the one I spend most time with (my roommate Axyl). It’s not like I need hugs to survive, but I admit they do help immensely.

Mini rant over. My point being, I’m deficient in hugs and cuddles. I figured this whole dating thing could give me a version of that. Hand holding and maybe a kiss at the end of dates, I didn’t think it’d be something I’d be morally conflicted about. I figured it’s logical. I want affection. Here are people who are looking for some sort of romantic relationship, which last time I checked, usually involves physical contact to some degree. It’s a dating app, not a church group. People know what they are signing up for. I figured, a kiss is a kiss. It doesn’t have to mean anything. I don’t have to be attracted or want a relationship out of someone to kiss them. That’s what I wanted to believe.

But when Chance brought up the topic, hinting at an opportunity to prove my new life philosophy right, I changed my mind. I thought, “I don’t really know this guy. I can’t kiss him!”. I did want that connection. Kisses do mean something to me. I still feel bad I held the hand of the first guy I went on a date with a week prior to writing this post and not going on a second date with him. Gosh. Do I feel bad. But yes, so I care. I’m a hopeless romantic who craves the touch of another human. Nothing strange about that.

 

Date Part 4: Romantic Rain

So, I glazed over his comment and changed the subject. I think Chance got the hint, because he didn’t insist. A guy who understands subtle hints. That, I like. It means he truly understands how I think. Or that’s how I interpret it. At this point, it’d started to sprinkle, so the people around us started walking back to the safety of their cars or restaurants nearby. On the other hand, Chance and I, though I don’t remember the topic, were engrossed in conversation, so I only mildly noticed the little droplets from the sky. Soon though, those droplets turned into drop-lots! (….I’m sorry. I had to.) We looked at each other and agreed to start walking back down the path away from the castle.

And walk we did! I mentioned to him how he’s the first person I know that doesn’t exaggerate about the rain. He walked. Didn’t run or try to even cover his head from the sky water. He just walked, calmly and contently. Right by my side. 😊 It was beautiful.

The crystalline water dripping off his strong jawline and the curls in his hair shone a light on his attractiveness and made him the epitome of male beauty. Maybe I read too many romance books… And the night isn’t over yet! Maybe about halfway there. But I hardly expect anyone to make it through what I’ve already written, so, this calls for a part two! Now, I’m a lady, but you turn on the heat and water turns to steam. If you didn’t understand that… don’t worry about it. XD If you catch my drift, come back for part two to read about the exact boiling point. 😉 Okay, I’m done with the lame chemistry puns. (Ha! Chemistry!) Okay, okay, I’m seriously done!

Thanks for reading. Expect part two by next Friday, February 22nd!

Why am I not enough? (Remembering to put on a fake face to survive in the “real” world)

I’ve had problems with depression and anxiety …also probably paranoia and anger management at least since 8th grade. Everyone has traumas. Mine happened when I was 10 years old. It was no one’s fault. Who was I to be angry at then? I think humans need to blame someone or something or else all that anger gets internalized. At least that’s what happened to me.

 

Brief Overview of my Life Growing Up

I’m not ready to write about what happened. I don’t want pity. What I want is to explore its effects. At 10 years old, I learned that loved ones aren’t a given. They can be there one day and not the next. (No one passed away, if you’re wondering.) But I learned no one is a sure thing. Not even my parents. However, through this turbulent time I still had my teachers and classmates. I learned that was my constant.

Middle school years

That’s all that I carried with me: my school friends and academic success. (More so my friends, but at the end of the day I chose academics and switched schools.) 8th grade. New school. I don’t know why since I’d always been the kid who had a friend by the end of the first day of school, but I didn’t make any friends that year. I didn’t feel the need. I wasn’t interested in talking to other people. So I didn’t. Academics. That’s all I had.

High school

I tried, but by now it wasn’t just a lack of desire. It was full-blown anxiety. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone. I’d only talk when teachers called on me in class. Even then my heart worked overtime from the stress of being called on. Academics. That’s all I had. Not having friends, I dreaded school breaks. Winter break, spring break. The worst was summer break. My mind would over think. I’d get into existential crises. At 15 years old, I knew I needed a distraction. I needed a purpose. Without school, my life, I feared death. Or maybe I feared not living.

I lived (arguable choice of words) like this for 3 years. By senior year of high school, I began to wonder. What if I didn’t treat academics as my life. What if I did poorly? I felt my parents weren’t proud of me with all A’s. (My dad praised anything and everything, while my mom questioned my A+’s for not being 100’s.) Would they freak if I got C’s? So, I stopped trying. I tanked my GPA in the last year. Began failing tests. (I’d never failed an exam before then.) And. Nothing. Happened. They were disappointed, but they didn’t lecture me. Just told me to try harder.

Or maybe they did care. I don’t even know how I felt. I’d say I didn’t care, but I did because I was worried that they didn’t care. I was nervous watching my grades drop and them not bat an eye. I wanted them to care. I wanted to matter to my parents. Not that I didn’t. I knew, intellectually, that they cared about me, but at the time I needed to proof to believe it. My dad’s praise was so frequent it meant nothing and my mom’s was nonexistent. Positive wasn’t happening, so I sought negative attention.

But I didn’t get it.

Then I went to university

I’d made a friend during those last two years in high school. I’d stopped trying so hard to keep my grades up and still passed. My priorities shifted. I learned the wonders of human connection. School didn’t matter. I had friends! Maybe it was my depression or paranoia or broken trust in family stability (no one got divorced either, in case you guys are wondering). Whatever it was, I could not feel or believe that my parents loved me. I knew that as a fact. Not as a feeling.

But I knew my friends liked me! And that feeling was indescribable! A feeling! That itself was surprising! I was numb all throughout high school. The only time I felt anything was during that short-lived flirty time with the boy I snuck off to the library with (blog post on that here). Often I remember anger. But that was it. Anger or nothing. It was like I wasn’t alive. Emotionally, at least.

But in university, I made friends and felt emotions. The most important of which was happiness. I’d had that spark of nervous flirty happiness with the boy in high school, but not like this. Not from friends, and later happiness all to myself, from myself. I found freedom in university. I wasn’t always at school or at home surrounded by people. Being watched all the time. Or not, but that’s what the paranoia told me. I had my own space. It was scary at first. I still struggle to do things by myself. I don’t think I was ever allowed to be alone growing up (bedroom doors were not allowed to be closed in my household and I didn’t go out with friends, much less on my own). University was life changing.

I learned what happiness is. I learned what friends are. I learned who I am. When no one was watching, I knew who I was and amazingly, I liked myself.

What did books matter when I was learning all of this?! They didn’t. And while I was learning who I was, I had to decide on a career. (Blog post about how I came to that decision here.) And now I’m here. In Puerto Rico. A place I knew nothing about when I decided to move out here for a year. Much less did I know anyone here. All the interns in my program were strangers. Now, I wish some of them still were.

I’ve learned that people can be mean and care only about themselves. I’ve learned people can be indifferent or too interested. I’ve learned people can be angry. They can be distracted. They can be cruel. And they are hypocrites.

I knew these things as fact before. But now I know them as feeling. …It makes me wish I didn’t have emotions again. It’s an empty wish and a common one of mine, to go back to the numb high school days. But in those moments with friends, some with romantic interests, and others through my own personal accomplishments,  I’ve learned what positive emotions are and I believe they are what makes life life. Only being able to feel anger, which later morphed to sadness, is not life.

When I was in high school, it was a numb, unfeeling depression. In university, with happiness, I learned sadness. Harsh, deep sadness. The peak of which occurred in my senior year of university. This year I lived with a great friend of mine. And I hurt her. Before her, I always had a facade up. An act. It wasn’t to be cruel. It was to be kind. I didn’t want to expose others to my sadness. But with her…

Life Changing Friendship- Learning to Trust and that it’s Okay to be Myself. Flaws and All!

To Mariah I gave all of my trust. I let go completely. I let her in as far as she wanted to go. And she went far. She saw me at my worst. I’ve never been that depressed since. Even though she’ll deny it, I know I ruined (or at the very least) inconvenienced many of her days. We spent Thanksgiving (2017) angry with each other and that weekend trying to drag me out of bed, literally. I made her suffer. It wasn’t on purpose; it just goes with depression. With depression and anxiety and paranoia and anger issues and what ever other labels exist for all the not positive aspects of my personality.

But she refused to give up on me. We’re still friends. I know that woman would do almost anything for me. And I don’t know what I did to deserve her. I don’t feel like I deserve her. It’s rare, someone like that. So loyal (against their own good even). And I was spoiled.

Post Graduate Nutrition Internship- Learning to Distrust and that it’s NOT Okay to be Myself. Flaws Should be Well Hidden.

Now, I’m here in Puerto Rico working on a dietetic internship (when I doubt I want to work as a dietitian for the rest of my life) almost attached to the hip with my internship partner. I go from rotations where I’m supervised and evaluated. Hello, paranoia and anxiety! Oh, there you are anger! To an apartment where everyone has beef with at least one other person. The environment is toxic. Doesn’t help my depressive tendencies.

Sorry I can’t be positive and supportive 24/7. I still try. It hurts, but I try. Thing is, I can’t give what I don’t have. Every day I feel more paranoid, more anxious, angry, and sad. Or then I’m manically happy! But one misplaced comment and I’m underground again trying to dig myself out. Or not. Sometimes I don’t ever want to surface. (Related blog post here.)

I let myself believe, due to my experience with Mariah, that people can be trusted 100%. I can let go and be my completely flawed self and not worry about the repercussions. But I now know how truly lucky I am to have someone in my life like that, because that’s not the case with anyone else. I already had trust issues. Maybe everyone does. However, I was healing. I was learning to trust again.

But now, I feel as if there is nothing to learn. From my experiences here, no one wants the real me. No one wants my flaws. I am, as I always feared, an inconvenience. I have to pretend to be only the best parts of myself, because that’s the only parts people care to get to know. That’s understandable to me with the preceptors who supervise and evaluate us, but I mistakenly thought it wouldn’t be the case with my fellow interns. I was hopelessly optimistic. And I was wrong.

I have to learn how to fake it. Something I wasn’t 100% successful at during my customer service-y job as a cashier during university breaks (2015 to 2018). I could do it, but only for so many hours a day. Here, I share a room, I go to rotations where I am supervised and evaluated 5 days a week with my internship partner plus travel to the site and work on assignments outside of those 8 hours with her and I come home to an apartment where people aren’t happy to see each other.

 

Constant People, Constant Need to Fake It (to fake sanity/happiness)

The only saving grace is that I feel that genuine care and friendship from my roommate. But, he’s still another person I am around every day. In university, I had space. I had freedom. Now, it’s back to how it was when I lived at home. Constant people! But higher stakes! The only time I’m alone is when I go out by myself. Remember my friend anxiety? Don’t forget depression! To motivate myself to go anywhere is difficult enough. To not change my mind is another thing. Depression tells me it’s not worth it. Anxiety tells me it’s all going to go wrong anyway, so why try?

I don’t wish to blame my hard times on these mental health issues, but I know they are a big factor. And I feel like I have to keep them to myself now. My struggles and thoughts should remain my own to not affect others. Even then, there’s nothing I can do about my energy or aura. If I’m that depressed and empty inside, it doesn’t matter how big I fake smile. I’ve lost my ability to act believable. Thank you Mariah, for making that ability obsolete in me and damn you.

I’m truly going to have to fake it and hope I make it. Seven more months until the end of this internship. Wish me luck, please.

 

 

Note:

Featured image is of me last Halloween (2017). I’ve always loved goth fashion, so I enjoyed expressing myself that day through dress, hair, and makeup. I use it as the image for this post because it represents how I feel at the moment. I am in no way saying goth culture equates to sadness or anything like that, but that’s how most people seem to take it. And I feel like this is how I come off to people without make up and even when I do put on non-goth makeup. I feel like no matter what I do outwardly, all people see is my obvious sadness or negative aspects of my personality. And what can I do about that?! (Nothing overnight!) Why am I being punished for that?! Isn’t the depression, anxiety, paranoia, distrust, anger, and self loathing punishment enough??

Week of July 30th 2018- First Week of Dietetic Internship and I Have a Shopping Problem…

Monday, July 30th- Another Shopping Day

First news of the day: we have to be in Ponce (an hour and a half car trip away from where we live) at 7am on Wednesday, the first day of our dietetic internship. My apartment mates and I do not have a car. However, we figured something out with the three Puerto Rican girls in our program who do have cars.

After this news we (Robin, Gia and I) went for some retail therapy. I got a calendar from Walgreens, The Fault in Our Stars at the bookstore next door, Robin got some shoes at Journeys, I got shoes at the Croc’s store, a fruit basket, professional backpack, and spoon rest at Marshall’s, and we all splurged on cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory.

The best part of this trip was probably getting a nail cutter from Walgreens. I’ve learned to appreciate a lot of things since I moved. I went to the gym with Robin then, at home, called my mom and read The Fault in Our Stars to her.

Tuesday, July 31st- Lazy Day and Grocery Shopping with Karen

I lazed around all morning. Axyl talked about going to Costco when Gia came by. We talked about the meal plan homework. Then she left, so I lazed around more. Really spent the morning doing nothing until Karen asked if I’d go to the local grocery store with her. Uhhhh more money, but I went and found a ton of stuff to buy. I bought the ingredients I need to make orange chicken. Too tired though, I made Quesadillas for dinner. Yum. Then I read to my mom. Still so hungry. Strange.  Must get up early tomorrow….  *cry cry*

Wednesday, August 1st- Mandatory Hospital Trainings

Woke up early at 4:59am. Well, Axyl woke me. One minute before my alarm. That’s why I remember. Two of the Puerto Rican girls came to pick us up. Robin, Axyl, and Gia went with Gean. Karen and I went with Sue and found Amanda (another fellow intern) already in the car. She had returned to her hometown and last we’d heard she was finding her way back to Puerto Rico. Interesting.

What was not interesting was the mandatory hospital training we had to attend. It was so cold in that room that it was all I could think about. They started late and ended late, so we were an hour late to the next hospital meeting like this one at our local hospital (an hour and a half away). We just caught the tail end of it. They may count it. I mean, I think it’s common sense not to stick your hands with needles or touch other people’s blood, don’t you?

At home, I was so tired, I didn’t even make it to my bed. I crashed on the couch and fell asleep. When I woke up, I was so hungry, but still so tired, that I made quesadillas. I was still hungry. Why have I been so hungry lately? Then I read to my mom over the phone and ate moldy grapes. It’s the second time I’m eating grapes and suddenly notice a couple of moldy ones in the container. Ugh. Still so tired. Early time tomorrow too.

Thursday, August 2nd- I Held Karen’s Toothpaste Captive

Got up. Robin was in the shower. Then Axyl showered. So I had breakfast because I forgot we would get breakfast at the event. Then I went to take a shower. Twenty minutes later, Karen knocked. I thought she wanted to shower and hadn’t realized it’d already been 20 minutes, so I hurried- she barged in the second I opened the door. To get her stupid toothpaste. Now mad, she rushed out the door and the guys followed her. My hip tried to jiggle out of place. That happens to me periodically. So, I hobbled down the stairs as fast as I could. Which wasn’t that fast. Luckily my femur got back into place by the time I reached the bottom of the stairs.

We got to the infant nutrition and lactation conference super early. We listened to several presentations that advocated lactation. Karen sat apart from us, obviously still upset. At the end of the conference she stormed off and so did everyone else. I was by myself, when Amanda found me and offered to share an Uber with me. I accepted, thinking they’d all left me. They hadn’t. They were downstairs. Everyone expect Karen and the girls with cars. Amanda had already gotten the Uber, so I left with her anyway.

Once home, I walked to Starbucks and read there with a coffee for a long time. At home, I read to my mom. Then I chatted with Robin who gave me a slice of his pizza and some chicharrones. After this, I wrote for this blog, listened to music, and chatted with Axyl until my dad called. I’m contemplating moving out. Amanda said she was going to live with Gia as the third roommate, but she bailed and now Gia needs another person. I’m the fourth person in my small three bedroom apartment. It’d work out logistically.

Friday, August 3rd- Ladies Are Required to Wear Makeup. Why?!

Another day on the job. We (when I type we and don’t specify who, it means all of us ten dietetic interns) went to the health department and got a lot of references and books we will need throughout the year. We also got the order that us ladies must wear makeup everyday that we come to work. WHAT?! I don’t wear makeup. Any makeup. So, I asked what the bare minimum would be. Foundation and lipstick. …I don’t own foundation. No idea how that works. I respect that others wear makeup. I am not familiar with it, and would rather not put stuff I don’t know much about on my face. Ugh.

Anyway, we also heard from some of the preceptors (dietitians we will shadow throughout the year). That was interesting. Today it was someone from elderly centers in the next town over who also research Alzheimer’s. That’s fascinating. Then someone who does retail dietetics at a grocery store. That’s a relatively new field. Seeing as I’ve worked (and not loved) my cashier job of the last three years, I’m a bit more excited about the first rotation. After the talks, we went back to the local hospital from Wednesday to do more trainings and to make up the one we’d missed.

After our unpaid work, I attempted to make orange chicken. Succeeded, but Axyl and Karen were a bit scared about the oil I had to use to fry the chicken. Karen quizzed me on what to do in case of an oil fire. I, to mess with her, told her, “put water on it DUH!” She was scared. HA! Never throw water on an oil fire! Smother it. Water will make the fire worse. Depriving it of oxygen, by covering it with a lid will smother it and thus stop the fire. Her reaction was hilarious! I did burn the rice, but not the apartment, so I think that’s a success.

Saturday, August 4th- And More Grocery Shopping… What Do I Even Buy?!

I wanted it to be a lazy day, but Axyl invited me to Marshalls and Gia invited me to the grocery store. I have a problem. Even though I’ve gone to the grocery store about five times in the past week and a half, I still spent lots of money. I found a few items that reminded me of home, like Mexican candy and Tajin (fruit chili), and iced tea that reminds me of my college town in west Texas.

After that, I didn’t want to leave the house anymore, so I spent a while singing in a corner of my room while Robin and Axyl went to the mall to get suits. I’m still struggling with the make up requirement thing. Ugh. So I put some lipstick on to see what it’d be like. I felt like a clown. Ugh. I’ll probably write a post dedicated to why I am so uncomfortable with the issue of makeup.

After my singing session, I went to make more orange sauce for all the left over chicken I had from Friday. Then I read to my mom. I feel like Axyl listens in when I read out loud. He came into our shared room just as I’d started reading and would comment periodically. After reading, I went to bed a bit worried because I hadn’t taken off the lipstick and some foundation Gia donated to me. It started raining, so I got up to close the window and take off the makeup.

Sunday, August 5th- Homesick and Mopey

I’m homesick. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way. Maybe it’s the iced tea and Mazapan talking. They remind me of my past. Which at the moment seems better than the present. Everything here is new and unknown. Memories are old and familiar. No wonder people get homesick.

I spent the day lounging around, as I tend to do when I’m not feeling super peppy. I read ahead from the book that I’m reading to my mom (The Fault in Our Stars). It may seem redundant, but it really helps so I know what tone to read things in and how to pronounce tough words. Plus, I didn’t feel like going out or socializing. I posted something about being homesick and all of the support (especially when my best friend, Lyza, texted me to check up on me) made me cry. I tell you: if you want to make me cry, be nice to me.

I watched a movie (The Big Sick) and then, finally, convinced myself to shower. My mom called so I could read to her, so I did, before reheating my leftover orange chicken and white rice and beginning my laundry. I swept and mopped my side of the room and cleared up my desk where I currently sit typing this. I also organized my make up bag, seeing as I’ll have to use it tomorrow. Ugh.

 

Notes:

  1. Back to two or three paragraphs per day. I’m not going to describe my whole day anymore. Just one or two instances within it that were interesting. Or I will describe my whole day, but a very condensed version. Not sure yet.
  2. Views on my blog are down and so am I. I miss home. I wish we had a solid internship schedule already, so I’d have something else to focus on.
  3. I decided not to move in to Gia’s extra room. I will stay here in my tiny shared room with Axyl. I don’t know why. It sounds better to have my own room, be on the first floor, with people that cook less than I do so I can use the kitchen more, etc. But… I don’t know. I have a feeling that I should stay put. I hope I’m right about it. Whatever it is.

Week of July 16th 2018- Getting Frustrated with Puerto Rico then Loving the Ocean

Hello again, wonderful readers. I must admit I’ve gotten into some bad habits. It is Sunday night as I write this. I am getting better at my laziness though. I wrote an outline of each day’s events so I wouldn’t leave out a day like that one time last week…

Monday, July 16th-Getting Lost at a Puerto Rican Hospital

It’s almost better writing at the end of the week versus the same day. It lets me know what details are important and which aren’t. For example, I can tell you guys that we went to Office Max to make copies and that it took a long time because my birth certificate is bigger than a regular sheet of paper, so one of the employees there made a copy of it himself (versus the self service printers). But that’s not important to the rest of the day or week. Looking at it now on Sunday, this day wasn’t super productive.

After going to Office Max, Gia, Robin, and I went to the police station to get some more documents we need for the internship. They got something called Ley 300, while I got the step before that called “Antecedentes Penales”. I don’t know exactly what they are for, but I assume they are something like a background check. From there we went to speak to our dietetic director who told us the mandatory drug test would be on Tuesday. Then we got lost in a Puerto Rican hospital. Seriously, how can a hospital function and be so disorganized?! All the people we asked for directions sent us to different floors! One clinic can’t be on floor 1, 2, and 3 at the same time! Oh well.

For our misery we tried out a little Puerto Rican restaurant close to our apartment complex called Mandy’s BBQ. It was good. The chicken soup was delicious! We went home afterwards to lounge a bit before heading to Starbucks to charge our devices and use their internet. We must have had a lot of things to do online, because we stayed till 8:30 or so almost till close.

Tuesday, July 17th-Frustrated with Puerto Rico and Going out to a Bar

Drug test today! My roommates (plus Gia) and I all had to be there, but I left the apartment before any of them to go find out about a package that was supposed to be delivered the previous day. The post office didn’t open till a few minutes after 8 am and there was already a line of like 7 people, so I left and ran into Gia and Robin who were walking to the train station. After meeting up with the other interns in the dietetic director’s office, we got instructions on where to go and what cup to pee in. Once that was over, we returned home via the train.

Well, Gia and Robin did. I went back to the post office where it was emptied out for noon lunch. The guy at the front reminded me of a sloth. His manner was slow and lazy. Not in an intentional way. More like that was just his nature. It was infuriating. Turns out my package had been returned the previous day and the address was written wrong. Couldn’t have been that wrong if it ended up in my neighborhood post office! That was the last straw. Everything is different here. The work ethic is completely distinct from the United States. One week tomorrow since we’d made an electricity account and still nothing! Plus the whole mess at the hospital the previous day. I was over Puerto Rico! Wanted to go home to my family and forget everything about this island.

But no. I was here and would remain here for the next year. In too deep. So, I went to Starbucks with Gia and Robin. Robin was tentative around me as my irritation radiated off of me. I just got an expensive drink and a cake pop and tried to convince myself to adapt to the changes. This isn’t Texas and I shouldn’t expect it to be. I’m in Puerto Rico. There’s good and bad. I just have to learn, accept, and adapt. From here, we went to Econo (a big grocery store chain here in Puerto Rico). We went to the big one seven or so stops down on the train where we met Lilly, a college friend of Gia’s and an intern from the previous year. As she bought groceries for her last few days in Puerto Rico, I bought the ingredients for my mom’s lime pie.

After the grocery store, Lilly invited us (Gia, Robin, and me) to go to an eclectic place called 24 Hour Market. It’s a little grocery mart by day and a bar by night. I felt very under dressed with them since I was dressed in all black (pants and t-shirt) while they were in casual club blouses. You know, where you show a little something, but are still somewhat classy about it. We found a little table and sat there listening to live music for an hour or so. It felt like more to me as I forced myself to drink beer and tried to listen to the conversation over the bar and music noise. Some time later, we moved to a table outside. While Lilly and Gia went to buy some fried mashed potato and meat things, I was left with Robin to proclaim how nothing mattered. …Yes, I became a philosophical drunk. That’s all I’ll say about that night.

Wednesday, July 18th- Going to a Clinic

I woke up in Robin’s hammock. That’s not a euphemism. I actually woke up in the hammock Robin had set up in the balcony of our apartment. I remember saying goodnight to him as we returned to our apartment and heading to the hammock to lay down for a bit before entering my room and possibly waking my roommate, but… I guess I never made it to that second step. I couldn’t let that stop me though. It was going to be a busy day. I dozed a bit on the couch, too embarrassed to go to my shared room at like 6 am, before meeting up with Gia and Robin to go to Rio Piedras. There Gia got her water utilities set up while Robin and I went to a laundromat a few streets away.

Once Gia finished at the utility office, she met up with us so we could head to a clinic. We still needed to get a certificate of health for our internship but we weren’t about to go back to that maze of a hospital we’d gone to on Monday. We waited thirty minutes for a bus that never arrived before taking a train and walking twenty minutes (still lugging around our now clean clothes) to the clinic. After the clinic we stopped by our apartment to drop off the clothes before going to the bank. We asked about making an account, but were unable to get approved for a student account which would waive the monthly maintenance fee. Since we were already at the mall, we grabbed a bite to eat at the food court. Chinese food for me, yum!

Then came our, now routine, Starbucks visit before heading home and falling asleep. It was early, but it was dark without electricity so what else was there to do?

Thursday, July 19th- Shopping Day and Gym Embarrassment

Today was unplanned. Gia was busy and it seems like Karen and Axyl usually have their own thing going on, so Robin and I decided to go visit some shops. We started with Ikea where we found a bunk bed I hope to get for my room. Then we found a CVS y más. Y más?! What’s the “and more” part?? We went in and it was like the little shopping aisle of CVS was magnified across the whole store! It was great! There was even a little book section where I bought a coffee cook book. When in Rome, right? (Coffee is a huge thing here.)

Then Robin and I went to the dollar store of which there only seems to be one store in Puerto Rico called Always 99. It wasn’t as large and extensive as back home in Texas, but it did the job. I got shampoo and rubber bands. A ton of essentials for cheap. From here, we walked to what looked like a fancy restaurant which turned out to be a decently priced sandwich shop called Sobao. Once we were fed, we walked back to the train. Crossing the street, I almost got run over by a car. The light was red when we began crossing but all of a sudden he was there a few feet away from me without a sound to be heard. It’s okay though, because I lived to hear a guitarist play and sing on the train then pass around his hat. That was a first here. In Mexico, sure, but Puerto Rico? That was cool.

Somehow, I got suckered into not going straight home. Robin wanted to check out a gym close to the train station. I was lugging around a bag full of stuff from the dollar store plus my back pack, as one of the managers at the gym gave us a tour of the facilities. He asked for our experience and goals as he began his spiel on the prices per month and whatnot. I really wasn’t interested. Especially not after saying I’ve never gone to the gym regularly and I would like to lose weight if possible. Ugh. It’s always worse to say things out loud. I know I’m overweight. I know I don’t exercise regularly. But to say it… *sigh. That’s a different thing. I got Robin to agree to think about it before signing a year long contract and on the way home I reminded him of a Planet Fitness not even five minutes walk from one of the train stations. Sure, there’s some travel time included there, but we commute so much since we don’t have a car here that we have 90 day unlimited passes. Might as well use them. Plus, $20 per month versus $50. Yeah, I’d rather commute. You know… if I did the whole gym thing.

Back at home Robin and I picked up a desk and table from Gia that past interns had left behind. Thank goodness for hand me downs!

Friday, July 20th- Breaking Into Gia’s Apartment and Celebrating Gia’s Birthday

No motivation today. I lounged around all morning just rolling from one side of the bed to the other. I don’t think I actually left my bed till an hour after I woke up. In that time, Robin invited me to Starbucks, which I declined. Gia met up with him at Starbucks and they both tried to convince me to hang out with them, but I just didn’t want to leave my apartment. So I stayed as Gia headed to her own apartment and Robin went to the airport to pick up his girlfriend who came into town for his birthday on Saturday. Today was Gia’s birthday and I’d promised to make her a lime pie since I don’t have cake pans or electricity to bake her a cake. So, with all the laziness in the world, I got up and headed out to her apartment. That’s when she texted me that she’d gone out to the mall, but that I could just come in. That she’d left the door open for me.

That’s great, but someone had left the door closed at my apartment. Robin. The copy of the key that I’d gotten at Home Depot doesn’t work. The gate to my apartment was locked and can only be unlocked with a key from the inside or outside. *sigh. I had to call Robin who had to walk back to unlock the door for me then dash off again on his trip to the airport. Then, when I got to Gia’s apartment, the door was locked. *sigh. I thought about calling her, but I looked around and found another way in. I texted her that I’d gotten in like a robber, but that I was in. There I made a simple lime pie that I put in her refrigerator (hence why I had to make the pie at Gia’s [still no electricity at my apartment]).

I stayed a bit expecting Gia to come back, but every car that passed I was afraid would be her roommates (whom I haven’t met). I didn’t want to look like an intruder in their apartment, so I returned to my own apartment. Locked again. I definitely hadn’t locked it. Karen was home though, so I knocked until she let me in. Some time later Karen and I met up with Gia and Lilly and Ubered to the restaurant where we would celebrate her birthday. There we met with Robin and his girlfriend, Kathy. No sign of Axyl. It was a little Puerto Rican restaurant called Casa Blanca. It was okay. They gave us a round of shots called Chichaito (made of rum, but that tasted like cough syrup) for free. That was awesome!

After the restaurant we said goodbye to Robin and Kathy and got in an Uber. Barely. The driver was already driving away when I had just gotten one foot in the car! My instincts kicked in and I kind of hopped along with the car as Lilly, Gia, and Karen yelled at the driver to stop. One day my quiet nature will kill me. I don’t think I said a single word. Thank goodness for friends. The driver apologized profusely and I told her it was okay. I wasn’t hurt and I know she didn’t mean to. That’s enough reason to not be upset for me. We got off at a bar called Triple B and got some refreshing Lime Coladas (like Piña Coladas, but with lime instead of pineapple). We didn’t stay too long though. Once home we packed a beach bag and then began an hour long ride in a car that Lilly had rented to where the ferry would take us to one of the most beautiful islands of Puerto Rico- Culebra.

Saturday, July 21st- Trip to Culebra (Puerto Rican Island)

We made it to the line for the ferry at 1 am. As Lilly and Gia hunted for a parking spot, Karen and I waited in line. At around 4:15 we finally got our tickets and boarded the ferry. I’d never been on a boat and it was a bit nerve wracking when big waves hit, but it mostly reminded me of riding a horse. Steady and rhythmic. Calming. Once we were on the island, (around 6 am) we caught a little van that takes people to different beaches on the island. None of us had ever been to Culebra, so none of us knew which spot would be the best. We asked a police officer nearby and he suggested Flamenco beach, so that’s where we went. The sun was just rising as we stepped onto the breathtaking, fine white sand. I was ready. As the girls headed to a little palm tree to set down their blankets and sleep, I took a quick dip in the ocean. It was quiet and devoid of people so early in the morning. I felt at peace.

I didn’t stay too long though, since I was the only person on the entire beach in the ocean. I tried to read a little bit (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), but soon fell asleep using the book as my pillow. I awoke to a hot back. Don’t fall asleep on the beach! I got under the palm tree and put on some sunscreen before everyone else woke up. Then the four of us (Lilly, Gia, Karen, and I) got into the ocean. Karen got a bit worried about leaving our stuff unattended, so she headed back after a few minutes, but Gia, Lilly and I walked over to one side of the beach where Lilly had found a little pool of water where the waves didn’t hit earlier in the morning. We stayed a while there before going back. I, adventurous as always, began swimming back. Gia walked, but Lilly followed me. She joked that I should give her swimming lessons as I kept having to stop to wait for her. Ahh! It just felt so good to swim! I can’t even describe the feeling of complete peace that washed over me as I swam. It felt natural. Like I belonged there. *sigh It was devine.

When we arrived back with Karen we went to a little area where there were little food stands. I got a shrimp empanada (and a guava and cheese one for dessert) while some of the other girls got chicken shish kabobs (called pinchos here). Delicious, as always. From there we returned to our little palm tree where we all took a two hour or so nap. We’d stayed up all night to get those ferry tickets and were clearly still exhausted. I just stared at the ocean when I woke up. Longing to go back to it. Gia woke up then and joined me. Lilly came by soon after. I daringly swam out further into the ocean then let the waves take me back to our little group. It’s an unbelievable feeling. To just let yourself trust the ocean and flow with it. Ah! I want to go back!

I’ll spare you the details after this. Here’s the facts: we wandered into seaweed territory then got some last minute snacks like a super charged piña colada and some ice cream (coconut and nutella for me). Then we returned to the ferry via that same van service we’d gotten to the beach on. Back in the rental car, we drove to McDonald’s for a quick bite to eat. Once back at the apartment complex we (finally!) ate a slice of that lime pie I’d made for Gia’s birthday. It tasted just like my mom used to make when I was little. I said goodnight and headed to my apartment while Karen stayed to charge her phone at Gia’s apartment.

But wait. My key still doesn’t work. And Axyl still wasn’t home. So, Karen came to open the door and told me I had to get a copy that works. She told me we’d go tomorrow to get it done and I snapped at her. I’m not proud of it, but I don’t like it when people tell me what I have to do. It pushed my buttons and I snapped. *sigh. She didn’t say anything. Just left back to Gia’s apartment. When she came back she announced we have electricity. Yay! I just charged my phone and fell asleep.

Sunday, July 22nd- Axyl’s Return and Real Talk with Gia

I woke up to Axyl banging around. Axyl?! He’s alive!! None of us had seen him since Friday morning! Granted we weren’t in town all day Saturday, but still! I didn’t give him a big welcome home inquisition though. I just reverted to my antisocial ways and sat in the living room by myself singing and planning what I would cook for the following week now that we have electricity to use the fridge and stove. Gia came by and chatted with Karen and Axyl as I continued doing my antisocial thing.

They eventually came to the living room, so I picked up my papers and stayed there with them. I gathered from the conversation that Axyl had met a friend from Puerto Rico that took him on a trip to the national forest here (called El Yunque). A few minutes later, Axyl, Gia, and I took off to the nearby grocery store. There I bought all of the dry items on my list for the week. Why just dry? We don’t have a car. And it’s about a mile away (.9 miles or 1.5km). All the household staples like oil, flour and such were so heavy!

But the three of us made it home to chat in the living room again. Soon Axyl went to his room while I continued to chat with Gia. We got past the small talk and began talking about some of our life changing experiences. Stuff about our old friends and experiences with psychologists. I love getting past small talk. I understand small talk has a purpose, but I prefer substance. Realness. Rawness. It was refreshing, since everyone I’ve met recently (at least since I moved to Puerto Rico) have been new acquaintances. I look forward to more conversations like this with Gia and my other fellow interns.

Notes:

1) Sorry about the length. I know this weekly blog is longer than usual. Especially that Saturday one. I was fascinated by the ocean and got carried away…

2) So we finally have electricity, but still no internet. I’m here at Starbucks again as I write this so I can publish it. I’m going to set up the internet for our apartment tomorrow and hope to have it by the first week of August. It’s all coming together guys!

Week of July 9th 2018- First Week in Puerto Rican Apartment!

Monday, July 9th- Ummm… Sorry Guys… I Don’t Remember

I thought I’d written this day. I wrote consistently all week, but I forgot Monday. Of all days! I’m not sure what I did today, but don’t worry. I wrote enough detail the rest of the week to make up for it.

Tuesday, July 10th- We Have a Home!

I’d been having amazing days. I downloaded an app that tracks your mood. Three times a day, it asks you questions like “are you hopeful for the future” and other criteria for depression and gives you options for your current mood between very bad, bad, moderate, good, and very good. Since I’ve been in San Juan (Puerto Rico) I’ve felt great everyday! All my feeling words have been green, like active and cheerful instead of the sea of gray that it had been at home. Once, at home, I chose all but one of the gray options. That was a bad day.. Now it’s been the complete opposite. I don’t think I’ve chosen more than one gray word since I’ve been here. I began to think that being busy, having a goal (internship requirements in this case), and being around people was the solution. I thought that’s what I needed to be happy. Until today.

Today was a busy day. We started by going to the bank. That was a fiasco! Since the other interns and I who went are from the U.S., our banks were freaking out about us taking out a large sum of money. Why did we need such a large sum of money? The fastest way to convince the realtor we had been talking to to lease us our ideal apartment so we could move in asap was to pay her several months in advance. Plus, I needed to get money to pay my tuition. After the bank, we went to the dietetic director’s office to turn in papers and get questions answered, before going to the grocery store to get a money order for my tuition payment. After this, we met up with the realtor to get the contract signed.

She met us at the grocery store, but we ended up going to the Burger King next door. There we read and signed the contract, annnnddd. Made the drug deal. Just kidding! But it sure seemed like it!! Since we are unemployed students, the realtor wanted us to pay four months in advance. Since we are foreigners, she wanted us to pay in cash. It ended up being several thousand dollars. In cash. At a Burger King. Yeah, sounds like a drug deal to me. But instead of cocaine or marijuana, we got the keys to our apartment and information on how to set up water and electricity. WE HAVE A HOME!!! *Phew! That feels good.

What doesn’t feel good is how I’m starting to feel worn out by all this socialization. People are starting to grate me and I’m starting to feel bad about my personality after being around so many different ones. I have been with four other people for the last 48 hours. We go everywhere together. Four of us slept in the same room last night. All day, all night, people. I began to think I wasn’t an introvert. I began to think I liked- prefered even!- being around people. Why do I let myself believe things I know not to be true? Humans and their stupid hope. But, what’s life without hope? I look forward to moving into our apartment tomorrow. 🙂

Wednesday, July 11th- Getting Utilities Set Up and Getting Tired of People

Another long day. Today the gang of four other interns and I woke up around 6am to get water and electricity set up in our new apartment. It’s great to have a place to live, but there’s so much to do to make it livable. So, Karen, Gia, and I hopped on a train to get the water set up while Axyl and Robin stayed behind in the Airbnb to move the luggage to our new apartment. After getting the water set up, Karen and I parted ways with Gia as she joined up with her roommates to set up her own utility accounts. This gave Karen and I the opportunity to eat at a little local hole in the wall by the train station. I had a refreshing papaya smoothie, plus some Puerto Rican fried favorites like a sorullo (corn and cheese stick) and fried ball….uhh… thing. (mashed potato, ground meat, and potato ball). I don’t remember the name.

After our impromptu breakfast, Karen and I traveled to our (finally our!) apartment where the guys were taking a break from hauling all of the luggage up. We decided to go ahead and get the electricity account done today, so the four of us jumped on the train, then a bus, then a bus again because we ended up going to the wrong place. Eventually we got it right, and after waiting two or so hours, we set up electricity for our apartment. Taking advantage of the location, we stopped by Marshall’s to buy some home goods and a dress for me, since we have to go to this year’s intern’s graduation tomorrow morning and I only brought one suitcase with me, so I didn’t have any fancy dresses in my repertoire. Once finished there, we tried finding a restaurant to eat at in vain. So, we ubered home and went to a local Fresh Mart instead. It’s like the Whole Foods of Puerto Rico.

We bought bread, water, and assorted snacks/ breakfast items there. At the apartment we made sandwiches and had a school-like lunch, complete with chips as a side. Since we don’t have electricity running yet, we sat out in the balcony to cool off in the breeze and chatted with some music in the background. I’m not the only one craving personal space, it seems. The four of us roommates (Karen, Axyl, Robin, and I) have been essentially attached at the hip since we started sharing an Airbnb on Sunday. Us, and for the past couple of days, Gia too (a fellow intern who will be living in the same complex as us [though a different apartment]) have gone everywhere together and come back to the same room to all sleep together. I like people, but I need a break!

Thursday, July 12th- Previous Interns’ Graduation and Getting a Bed!

Four people. One bathroom. And a 10am graduation to attend. There were a few time issues, but when we finally made it to the location it ended up being a sweet ceremony. The dietetic director and her interns showed genuine gratitude and appreciation for their time in Puerto Rico. There were speeches, tears, and live singing. Everything that makes a nice ceremony. In addition to that, us incoming interns were included too. We were presented to the preceptors (dietitians the previous interns shadowed), professionals, and graduating interns families, and we were given a gift bag filled with little things like water bottles, a mug, and a lunch box. After taking a group photo with all the interns for this year, my roommates (Karen, Axyl, Robin) and I headed back home via the train.

We took a little break to get out of our party clothes before heading to Ikea to see if we could find some cheap furniture. We took the train about six stops out before arriving at a big bus transfer center where we waited about thirty minutes for the bus that would take us to Ikea to arrive. A thirty minute bus ride later, we made it to Home Depot where we took advantage of the bus route to get some extra keys made, since we only had two sets. Once finished there, we walked to Ikea where we quickly found out it was simply a show room. Everything at that location had to be ordered online. I couldn’t even buy a candle there!

Moving on, we ventured to Walmart to see if we could find cheap mattress solutions. Since our apartment didn’t come with furniture, we slept on the floor last night. But, in the end, we went to Costco and half of us bought mattresses there while the other two bought thinner (read: cheaper) foam pads. I bought a twin size mattress. Finally! A bed! It’s great how things are coming together. Slowly, but surely. Now, if only the light people could hurry up! It gets dark around 7pm here!

Friday, July 13th- First Nutrition Workshop and Scary Movies

Happy Friday the 13th, guys! My fellow interns and I started the day bright and early at 6am to go to our first workshop of the year. It didn’t start until 8am, but since we don’t have a car… Yeah, the walk to the train station, plus the ride took around 45 minutes. It’s a beautiful walk though. We pass the Coliseo of Puerto Rico to get there. I took a picture of it for my Instagram. It’s the photo on this featured on this week’s blog post above. (Check it out at my social media links below for more pictures and blog updates.) The workshop itself wasn’t anything super exciting. Just calculations and meal planning for clinical nutrition work. It’s super weird, but cool to be in a room with nine other people just doing nutrition work. All throughout university I studied several subjects. At first it was because of basics like English and history classes the state requires. Then it was because I kept adding on minors. (More on that here.) We’ll see how this internship goes. The first part of the internship is more book work and classes. Which are more like reviews of what we learned in university.

Either way, after the workshop one of the guys who works with the realtor who we worked with to get our current apartment came by to drop off a sofa they had. For free! They must have had the sofa from some other apartment they were trying to rent out, but for free? That’s awesome! Slowly, but surely our apartment is coming together into a quaint little home. By this time it was about 4pm, so Gia, Robin, and I took a rest then walked the twenty or so minutes to the mall. There we got something at Starbucks (Chai tea, my favorite!) and sat there as I worked on yesterday’s blog.

Several errands later, like getting passport pictures taken and visiting a grocery store for milk, tuna, and -my recent craving- fruit, we swung by a little asian store/restaurant for some dinner before returning to our apartment. There we caught up with Karen and Axyl. As the group chatted I excused myself to the balcony where I called my mom. My great grandmother recently passed away, so I wanted to make sure my mom was doing okay. I wish I could be there for her, but I’m (literally) on an island. It’s not that easy.. *sigh It’s just one year. This time next year, I’ll be counting down the days to my next adventure. After some genuine parting words of “take care” we hung up the phone. I got to chat on the phone a bit with Mariah (my roommate from my last year of university this past year).

Once I returned to our empty-except-one-solitary-couch living room, Robin and Gia left to go get a drink, while Axyl, Karen, and I started watching “It” in honor of Friday the 13th. Karen does not like scary movies. But, she stayed with us (with a lantern on, since we still don’t have electricity… hence Starbucks earlier). She must like us at least a little bit, hee hee. Lucky for her, the movie froze and the movie we put on after that (Annabelle Creation) froze as well, so no scary movie tonight! Next Friday the 13th, for sure!

Saturday, July 14th- Starbucks Again and Buying Home Essentials

I promised Robin I’d go to Stabucks with him this morning, but before that we stopped at the Best Buy across the street from our local Starbucks. There I wandered around the audio and TV sections and asked two different employees where to find a cd player until Robin took me to where they were. -__- They had two types. I’m just glad they had any to begin with. The employees I asked seemed kind of confused when I asked them. They must have thought they’d misheard me. One of them sent me to where they sold vinyls. Really?! Anyway, with a wonderful personal cd player/radio in hand, we headed to the Starbucks. There I typed up yesterday’s blog and tried a strawberries and creme frappuccino (delicious!).

Robin and I came back to an empty home. Wondering where Axyl and Karen went, Robin and I took a couple hour’s break before attempting a trip to Walmart. The closest one is about 1.3 miles away. We could have walked it. But….no. We’ve done so much walking these past few days already. So, we took a train, waited about 30 minutes for a bus, took a five minute bus ride (all that waiting for that!) and got lost for a minute (my bad!) before making it to Walmart. Robin and I walked around picking up items without a basket or cart to put them in because we mistakenly thought that would impede us from accumulating too many items. Not the case. I got a lot of cheap shirts and tanks plus a little plastic dresser! Woo! Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have all of my stuff out of my suitcase! Then I’ll feel at home.

We took an Uber back once we’d gotten some food at Panda Express. At home it was already dark, so I grabbed Karen’s lantern and washed the new dishes Robin and I had bought. Plastic cups and bowls for everyone and a nice little ceramic plate and bowl for me plus all of the freebies I got at the graduation on Thursday. It feels nice to have dishes. There are so many little things I’d take for granted at home with my parents or even in university after years of buying home essentials. Soon after I finished washing the dishes, Axyl and Karen arrived. They’d done a bit of shopping themselves. Luckily nothing we’d already gotten (like a broom). It was only about 9pm, but I was falling asleep on the couch, so I called it a night and fell asleep to my roommate’s phone playing the sounds of a tennis match.

Sunday, July 15th- Lazy Day Plus Pizza

I woke up to a rooster. My rooster alarm, specifically. I don’t know when or why I set that alarm for 8:30am since I fell asleep around 9pm. I woke my roommate with it. Oops! Axyl just looked over at me disapprovingly and said something along the lines of “that better not be your usual alarm!”. Ha! I ran off as soon as I woke to the living room where I had a nice bowl of cereal. Then I lounged on the couch listening to the radio on my new cd player. Axyl and Karen went off to buy produce and turn in job applications while Robin and I relaxed in the apartment. After a while, Robin left for Starbucks while I remained in my room organizing things in my half closet space and cheap little dresser I bought yesterday.

If Gia and Robin hadn’t come by and invited me to go to the mall, I would have stayed home all day. But, they’re nice people and I was getting hungry, so I stuffed the rest of my mess around my room in a drawer and went with them. At the mall we went to Walgreen’s where I bought a patriotic wallet with Puerto Rico written all over it. They teased me for it of course. Not that I mind. It’s nice to get to a point with someone where both parties are confident enough with each other to joke like that. From there we stopped by Pizza Hut for dinner and then walked home. Not a bad end to the week.

Notes:
1) Update on living situation: I now have an apartment with Karen, Robin, and Axyl. We have bought a few basic things like a broom and bed, and now have running water, but still no internet or electricity. I hope we get both of those soon. Otherwise, I’ll have spent more money at Starbucks this month than in my whole life up to now!

Week of June 11th- Social Outings and Work Drama

Monday, June 11th- Maybe, I Should be Nicer to Customers

Just another day. I woke up a couple hours before work. I looked for apartments in Puerto Rico and sent a couple of emails. At work I met a new girl. It was her first day and she was bagging for me. How fortuitous! She hadn’t heard any gossip about me yet! HA! I was nice to her. Didn’t drown her in milk and produce and went slow enough to allow her to find her bagging system and not discourage her. Hopefully, I got her started right. I look forward to seeing her personality blossom past that polite initial stage that people front automatically.

Since I was being nice, that energy transferred to my customers. I still wasn’t super chatty, but I was open to conversation. I found a couple of customers that I related to. In fact, I had a small chat with one of them about that initial polite stage and how funny it is to mess with people then. I told her about the time I offered my soon-to-be boyfriend at the time garlic chips a couple of year ago and, out of politeness, he ate them. HA! His face was hilarious!!! (Those things are strong! And gross!) It’s incredible what stupid things we humans will do out of what society deems politeness. All in all, not a bad shift.

Tuesday, June 12th- Another Funky Day

No work. Yes, funk. Ahh, ~depressive episodes are fun.~* Spent the day eating junk and watching my show. Took an art inspired break. Made something my mom liked. (I find that rare.) Then ruined it. Paint wasn’t dry. Covered it in black paint and broke it in half. It was thin wood. Then threw it away. Continued to watch my show. Sad season finale. Ignored a friend instead of accepting their kindness. Said I’d rather eat and watch my show. So, I did. ~Yay, work tomorrow.~*

Wednesday, June 13th- Dinner and Movie with… My Brother

I had a six hour shift that turned into five and a half hours. They asked if I would go home early. It was a super slow day and I was in a, surprisingly, good mood, so I said yes. I had all afternoon to myself so I watched my medical drama then went to dinner and a movie with my brother. We ate at some little Italian place. It was cozy, but the food wasn’t the best. However, the waiter was nice and we ate till we were stuffed, so it was good. After dinner, my brother and I headed to the cheap movies.

There’s this theater that is growing on me. It’s old and as brightly colored as the 80’s with just as much security (read: none). We bought our tickets and headed into the appropriate room. Then I realized we didn’t have the 3D glasses our four dollars had afforded us. I hunted around for several minutes until I stopped a random employee and was able to procure some for us after eyeing me and asking where I’d bought my tickets. I flashed them to her and then reunited with my brother. We saw Black Panther. I wanted to watch a cheap horror movie, but decided to support my brother in his choice. I’m glad I did. The movie was heartfelt and had great themes. Unity, guys! We are all human beings! Let’s take care of each other.

Thursday, June 14th- Teenage Moment, Driving to Nevada, and Kid Friendly Fun

I had a teenage moment today. My dad was trying to get plane tickets for when I move to Puerto Rico, and I was trying to convince him, that while I appreciate the fact that he wants to accompany me, it isn’t necessary. It’s expensive and….. this is where my argument failed me. And I’m the only intern that would be bringing her dad…. Welp. I hurt his feelings and felt horrible about it.

What turned the day around was that I had promised a friend to hang out that day. I dragged myself out to meet up with her even though we had no idea what we were going to do. I suggested we just drive while we thought of something. We ended up on a freeway and didn’t turn around until we saw a sign for Nevada. Reminder, I live in Texas. We had to be driving for around an hour before we turned around! Another fifteen minutes and we probably would have ended up in Oklahoma- the next state over!

In the end, we decided on Main Event (a family friendly entertainment venue). We played air hockey, laser tag, and billiards. It was awesome, even though my laser gun didn’t work and I accidentally hit the 8 ball in; thus losing that game too. I won the air hockey match though!!

Friday, June 15th- Late for Work

I woke up at 7:36. My schedule for work was for 7:30. I also live about 20 minutes away. *sigh* I got to work at 8 am. I was cranky and hungry for the first two hours. Also, paranoid as I knew more than 15 minutes late gets you a write up at my job. But after four hours no one had called me into the office and I’d gotten a bite to eat, so I felt better. The rest of the day went well. At home, I watched more of my medical drama and finally got a plane ticket and hotel for Puerto Rico. Now I just have to pack anything I could ever want for the next year in one suitcase…

Saturday, June 16th- Resignation Letter and Parking Patrol

Late shift today. 5 pm. I’d never gone into work that late. Fine by me though. It gave me time to catch up on sleep and write my resignation letter. I thought I’d quit this cashiering job hating it. I’ve written about this before. About the fact that working with people for 8 hours a day goes against my nature. But, I don’t hate my job. Sure, people can be petty jerks, but it’s kind of cool to interact with such a variety of people. It’s grown on me. Maybe it’s early nostalgia since I know it will be over in two weeks. Whatever the reason, I’m glad to have gotten to this point of self growth. I’m glad I don’t hate my job anymore.

But enough happy sunshine, there was one thing that annoyed me today. There’s this security guard I am not fond of at work. He’s shooed me off of the parking lot on a day employees were supposed to park elsewhere, but I was not notified of it (professionally, but still) and he did not come to my aid when a road rage-er followed me to work. Whatever. Today, he sees me get out of the passenger seat of my car. I feel like I barely opened the door when he started walking towards me asking if I was being dropped off. I was already heated upon seeing his face. I asked, in my sassiest tone, “Why?”.

He began to explain, when my dad popped out from the driver’s side of the car. The security guard literally stopped mid sentence and said something along the lines of “Oh, I didn’t realize you were with your dad. That’s fine.” I almost wanted to back talk him and as him why it was okay if I was with my dad but not if I wasn’t. But, I opted to strut away angrily instead. *Huff* I should be glad my dad, who has worked for the company for over a decade, has that kind of respect. Heh, guess my three years are nothing in comparison.

Sunday, June 17th- Blog Traffic and Making Soup for Father’s Day

Well that was exciting while it lasted! I promoted my blog’s Facebook page and got the most traffic I’d ever gotten here. The powers of social media leave me in awe. Anyway! Nothing too traumatic at work today. My boss briefly mentioned getting my resignation letter. She didn’t seem to heartbroken. Even she knows it’s time for me to move on.

I was put on a big register most of the day, then the express area for a couple of hours. I really feel like making a little guide with tips for the new soon-to-be cashiers I see coming in. They don’t know what they are in for. And I mean stupid little things too, like the the fact that bread or figs are indeed safe to be put over a carton of eggs. I finally got business/promotional cards for this blog, so I’m thinking I’ll hand them out at work with a little message for all of the nice people I’ll be leaving behind.

After work, I dashed around to find something for my dad for father’s day. I work at a grocery store, so I bought a kit to make his favorite soup, chicken tortilla, and some mochi ice cream. He made a mess with the ice cream since he’d never had ice cream in a jelly/marshmellow-like casing before. Then he helped me spice the soup. It wasn’t exactly making a meal together, just adding salt, but it was a memorable moment. I love my dad.

 

 

Notes:

*As always, ~ around words denotes sarcasm.

And! The blog post survey results are in! I will post the story of when I snuck out with a boy from high school to the library. Oh gosh, this is a loaded memory lane… Come back on Friday, June 18th for that!

Anuncio- ¡Me voy a mudar a Puerto Rico!

Mi vida está a punto de cambiar. No estoy tratando de ser dramática; solamente sé que, al mudarme, mi vida cambiará. ¿Por qué me voy a mudar? Pues, mi carera tiene tres pasos. No solo tengo que graduarme de la universidad con un Bachilleres en Ciencias de Nutrición y Dietética (hecho), pero también tengo que hacer un internado y tomar un examen de licenciatura. Estoy en el segundo paso.

Estudiantes aplican a internados durante su último año en la universidad. Podemos aplicar a todos los que queramos, pero hay costos que motiva a la mayoría de los estudiantes a que apliquen a solo cinco o siete. Yo apliqué a siete. Diez ubicaciones en total. Mis primeras tres opciones eran cerca de Dallas, en donde he vivido toda mi vida. Mi cuarta opción era la única fuera de Texas. Como saben por el título, la cuarta opción es la que me aceptó. Internaré con el Departamento de Salud de Puerto Rico durante el próximo año.

La gente me pregunta si estoy emocionada. No lo sé. Tal vez tengo emoción en algún lugar. En verdad no siento mucho sobre ello. Sólo estoy dejando que la vida suceda. No lo creía al principio. (¡Esa entrevista fue la peor en toda mi vida!) Ser aceptada parecía una broma cruel. Pero fui a la orientación hace varias semanas (una semana antes de mis exámenes finales, ¡te diré!) y se que esto es real. Me mudaré la primera semana de julio y, aparte de dos semanas en el invierno, no regresaré a Dallas hasta julio 2019.

¡Es una locura! Voy a un lugar que he ido a una vez. En serio, cuando la directora me hacia la entrevista y me preguntó, “¿Por qué Puerto Rico?” yo respondí “Oí que el clima es placentero”. *SUSPIRO* Claro, la temperatura está a 26.7 grados Celsius todo el año, pero tuvieron un gran huracán, ¡por Dios! ¿Mencioné que fue mí, pero entrevista en TODA mi vida? Voy a vivir en un país extranjero por un año corriendo por la isla tratando de llegar a mis rotaciones.

Es similar a la residencia de un doctor en que nosotros internados vamos a diferentes profesionales en nuestra área y observamos su trabajo. Si el dietista con quien trabajamos nos decide competente, nos dejan hacer su trabajo. Las tres áreas de rotación son Comunidad, Clínica, y Servicio de Comida. Pero, con que el internado complete el requisito de horas en esas áreas tienen la libertad de incluir otras áreas. Algunos hacen desordenes de comer, cuidado de mayores, y otros. Creo que el mío hace media.

También nos dan proyectos, tareas, y presentaciones que hacer. Este año ha diez de nosotros. Tres son de Puerto Rico y el resto de nosotros somos de los Estados Unidos. No he empacado, comprado un boleto de avión, o empezado a comprar útiles en caso de un huracán. …Esto será divertido.

 

P.D. La foto es la misma que esta en la pagina “Mi Vida Ahora” porque es la vista de una estación de tren en Puerto Rico.

Announcement- I’m Moving to Puerto Rico!

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL AQUÍ

My life is about to change. I’m not trying to be dramatic; I just know that, by moving, my life will change. Why am I moving? Well, you see my career has three steps. Not only do I have to graduate university with a Bachelor’s in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics (check), but I also have to do an internship, and take a licensure exam. I am on that second step.

Students apply to internships during their senior year at university. We can apply to as many as we want but there are fees which encourages people to apply to around five to seven on average. I applied to seven. Ten locations total. My top three were close to Dallas, my hometown. My fourth was my only option outside of Texas. As you may have guessed from the title, that fourth option is the one I was accepted into. I will be interning with the Department of Health in Puerto Rico for the next year.

People ask me if I am excited. I’m not sure. Maybe there’s some excitement in me somewhere. I don’t really feel too much about it. I’m just letting life happen. I was in hard denial when I got the news. (That interview was the worst I’ve ever had!) It seemed like a cruel joke. But I went to the orientation several weeks ago (a week before my finals, I might add!) and I know this is real. I will be moving the first week of July and, expect for Holiday Break in the winter, I won’t be back in Dallas until July 2019.

That’s crazy! I am going to a place I’ve been to once. Seriously, when the director was interviewing me and asked “why Puerto Rico?” I responded “I hear the weather is nice”. *FACEPALM* Sure, the temperature is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit year round, but they had a major hurricane last year for crying out loud! Did I mention that was my worse interview EVER? I am going to live in a foreign place for a year running around the island to make it to my rotations.

It’s similar to a doctor’s residency in that us interns go to different professionals in our field and observe their work. If the dietitian we are working under deems us competent, we also get to do some of their work. The three main rotation areas are Community, Clinical, and Food Service. However, as long as the internship program includes the required number of hours in the three fields they are free to include other areas. Some do eating disorders, geriatrics, and others. I think mine does media.

We are also assigned presentations, projects, and assignments to complete. This year there are ten of us. Three are Puerto Rican and the rest of us are from the United States. I have not packed, bought a plane ticket, or even begun to buy hurricane prep supplies. …This should be fun.

 

P.S. The photo above is the same as on my My Life Now page because it is of the view from a train station in Puerto Rico. Sneaky of me, right? 😀