What’s a stressed, Catholic grad student to do when overwhelmed from being hard on herself? Go cry in a local church! I used to pride myself in finding no need to cry, but over the past academic year I’ve discovered the miraculous powers of tears and have accessed them whenever I could.
Other ways I’ve been trying to deal with stress as of late is through prayer, hence why I sought out the church today, as well as reaching out to friends more often. While it usually takes my friends a while to respond, I was lucky to receive encouraging, warm responses from them while in the church. I couldn’t help cracking a smile when reading over their messages, and felt very fortunate to have my friends to cry out to.
Tonight I got to play hostess again by having a few friends over to watch the Red Sox-Yankees game. I enjoy having the opportunity to have guests. Serving snacks to fuel conversation and laughter is always one of my favorite parts of hosting, thanks to my background in Polish hospitality. Aside from the food pictured above, a friend and her boyfriend (whom I met for the first time) contributed some unique, sweet snacks, such as green tea-flavored Kit-Kats and a tough, dried fruit, as well as pork and shrimp dumplings from a local Asian mart. We also had some wings from down the street for the first time. We didn’t quite have the most typical food for watching a baseball game, aside from some peanuts, but it was all still delicious!
We weren’t tuned in too much into the game, except for the times when either team scored and noting the fact that the game was going into extra innings. There were some great stories shared, plenty of references about my hometown Chicago with my friend’s boyfriend making numerous jokes about the city after his visit there a few months back, and even thoughts about starting a meet-up group for baking enthusiasts in our area. Unfortunately the company didn’t stay for the length of the game, as it stretched out into extra innings (and is still going on into the 14th inning as I write this post!). Nonetheless, the night was a great end to the week and a much needed evening of rest before diving into the work I have to accomplish over the weekend.
My, I haven’t written here consistently in a while! Graduate school has taken over my life to the point that sometimes I’ve forgotten to take pleasure in the little things. Time to return to writing to be reminded of them more often!
The past week leading up to Easter had its share of graudate school trials, which left me with averaging 3 hours of sleep a night. Fortunately I was blessed to have a best friend stay over for the week. She was in for some doctor’s visits and I was busy with school, but we still managed to see each other and share some great “chicken soup for the soul”, as I refer to the times that we spend together. The timing of her visit was perfect with all the stress of school I was going through, among other things, and I was happy to have her around for Easter!
Other then my friend’s visit, the week was good with all the Easter services to attend. The services gave me an opportunity to run into and reconnect with alumni and friends I’ve looked up to and am blessed to know. Even though the few days before Easter are supposed to be solemn, they were filled with jovial and much-needed socializing.
I concluded the week by serving a traditional Polish dinner for friends with all the food my family would serve for Easter brunch, including carrot salad, kielbasa, Polish ham, pierogi, and bread. I was inspired to do so by the care package my parents had sent me and links of Polish dinners that my roommate was sending me. I traveled all the way to a packed Polish deli in South Boston with my roommate to pick up additional food. It was wonderful to relive a little bit of the tradition I have grown up with and to share it with friends.
Also, my roommate and I finally get to feast on all the chocolate we’ve accumulated from care packages, birthday gifts, etc.
Overall, I had some solid Easter festivities that have rejuvenated me to power through the rest of the semester. Only three more class meetings and 4 more weeks at my placement!
As I rode the Boston Logan Express into the city, I spotted a bride in Copley Square with her bridesmaids huddled around her with umbrellas and helping her hold up her dress as they walked through the rain. The scene just made me smile, the misfortune of having a wedding on a rainy day, yet still looking beautiful and having some loyal friends sticking by your side on your day.
I’m always thankful for when an undergrad friend offers a guest meal for us to spend time together. Today I had an exceptionally good meal with a fish taco, sauteed vegetables, and tater tots. It may be sad to admit that this was my best meal of the week, given that it was dining hall food. Nonetheless, it was a great meal that I got to share with a great friend.
Over the past month I’ve accompanied a girl I know from a local, non-university affiliated dorm for college and young professional women to teach catechism in East Boston. Our interactions to this point have been the quiet, polite exchanges expected between acquaintances. Today we managed to break the ice a bit with more comfortable conversation. We laughed over fumbling through our commute to and from East Boston, particularly when we missed a stop on the way back. The best exchange was over lunch back at the dorm when we debated over my whether my deepest desires included consuming more chips that we took from the dining room so as not to throw them away.
I’m glad to have shared some laughs with this girl today. We’ve known each other for a few years but never really had many one on one interactions together. I’m like that we’ve finally reached a point where we can show our quirky sides and be accepted for it.
A month ago, my friend had shipped a birthday package to me from her home in Germany. It had been estimated to arrive around my birthday, but day after day I’d come home to an empty doorstep. Just when we were ready to lose hope, it appeared! I Skyped my friend as I opened the package, and was pleasantly suprised by the contents and humored by her clever notes on post-its. I felt so loved with the way she spoiled me and how she picked out things that showed she knows my tastes. Thanks bud!