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feeling like myself and ready for home [Dec. 10th, 2006|04:55 pm]
Houston and my family: 12 days
Chicago and my other family: 16 days
San Francisco and my the west coast need: 1 month 2 days.

Work has been hectic. its been great actually. I feel useful for the first time in months. I love my boss and I do love what I have been experiencing the past few weeks.

World AIDS Day, although just a week ago, feels just like yesterday. I woke up that morning with a million things on my mind. Mostly, I just wanted to stay in bed. Needless to say, I got up and made it to work for an hour and just long enough to get myself settled before motivated for a day full of crazy events.

At 9am I went for a church service at a Methodist church. The even was called for Whom the Bell tolls. The bells tolled every five seconds for the first ten minutes and last ten minutes of the hour program signifying for every five seconds someone dies or is infected with HIV/AIDS. In between the those two time periods were 3 speakers of different faiths and of different backgrounds. The theme of world aids day was accountability. In DC it felt as if it was an outcry for religious leaders of the world to address this pandemic that plagues our world.

Following the bell service i went straight to the hill where I met Gloria Rueben (she played an HIV+ woman on ER) and watched a panel on African American women and the status of HIV. It was a great panel and I was able to meet a great amount of people. It felt good to be in an arena where people just respected you and what you could/should bring to the table. I've been working on comprehensive sex education policy with them. Its been great. I haven't done that much, but what I have done is get oriented.

Next I went with my colleague, Deborah, to the UNAIDS event located in a different building on capitol hill. This event was amazing. It was again filled with religious speakers of many faiths including islam, christianity, judaism, hinduism, and buddhism. The most impactful speaker at this event was an African muslim leader who is known for his speaking out on HIV. Originally from Mali, he spoke with eloquence and urgency. His words filled the room as if he reached each individual in the eyes and could successfully convince he/she of anything. I met a great amount of people here as well. All workers doing things collaboratively in order to fulfill as many needs as possible. The event was a huge success.

Later that afternoon, I left the UNAIDS event for my rally that I had been planning for World AIDS Day. This was in combination with Student Global AIDS Campaign as well as others from around the DC area. This event took a great amount of energy from me. It was really great to see 500 people show up in front of the white house, scream, and protest. I organized the civil disobedience which included 25 people dressed up as bottles, syringes, and pill bottles; all signifying the different demands of our action. This event was a whirlwind experience, however, it was great to be involved from afar on a project. This was the first time that i have been able to enjoy a world aids day in a while.

Finally, I went to the reception NMAC had for our recent release of a report on the disparities of people living with AIDS in America, this report was done to highlight the status of african americans in the US.

To wind down a great day, i went with Damon for drinks afterwards. It was chill and calming. Great conversation and relaxation. Then I went home, watched some TV and went to bed. The following morning I woke up and took my GRE. It went ok. I got what I needed. done and done.

Sonia arrived for the next few days. this was filled with business and craziness. Wednesday we had our happy hour. We were all soo trashed. It was ridiculous, but really fun.

This weekend has been fun and challenging. Some friends are challenging at times. I must remind myself of that daily. New people new challenges. New beginnings and ends.

Alas I woke up and realize that I have a full day of applications to do. I have two due next friday . The two most important, but we'll see what happens. Now I just need to end this and get started so I can go to yoga this afternoon. Yay!
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oh sundays [Oct. 29th, 2006|02:47 pm]
i guess its a weird thought. im not unhappy. its always a continually weird feeling i get every few weeks. Steph spent the night friday night and it was great fun. We make pumpkin soup and aguacate. then the next morning we had pancakes with maple syrup. damn they were good.

this morning i wake up and its gorgeous out. im going to go with claire shopping for a bit, i need tights and she needs boots. i could use an extra pair of boots, but then, that's in the later future.

i should get dressed soon. she'll be here promptly. but i need to enjoy my cup of coffee. weekends go by even faster than the weeks. its already november. where did october go? I know. LA and NYC.

I've decided a few things: a) I have to live on the west coast b) im ready for grad school a lot sooner than I expected. c) i miss my friends too much.

its really insane. im so lucky to have steph here, but there is this part of me thats like turned off. It has become not a constant struggle, but im ok with just chilling out here. I want to go out, but not really in DC. This place is just so weird. The people that I have met so far have been wonderful. Claire and Laurel are great. I'm just still so weary.

im not unhappy, in fact, im really chilled out. Which is insane for DC as everyone else is crazy stressed. i guess i just find floating back the other way since so many people and all i see around me is politics, policy, and intensity. all it makes me want to do is lay in the grass.

its been a great transition and living with saujan is proving fun. its not andrew though. im so upset with him i cannot even begin to feel my hurt. stupid boy.

a few life values that i need to reiterate to myself:

-life is easy going right now, enjoy it.
-enjoy the time around you with the people that are here, they are wonderful and a great asset to you.
-the experiences you will have in the next coming year are trying ones. That's what life is like out of college. Scary, crazy, and unsettling.
-The right thing always works out.
-stay motivated.
-stay calm.
-learn new things.

ok, just needed a reality check, will not get somber.
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its rainy [Oct. 17th, 2006|06:35 pm]
today i wish i had a tv. ohh my need for technology is not so good. i should learn to live without it, and i have been. But, sometimes you just want to watch tv. its a good decompressor.

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not too bad [Oct. 7th, 2006|01:09 pm]
[mood |peacefulpeaceful]

i still miss a lot of people tremendously. i still wish i were in chicago sometimes. at other times i don't really know/feel I know where I belong.

But then I find the comforts. I love being in the same city as my sister. Its really nice she is in the same spot. After a quick swift trip to Houston to see my mom, it reminds me that I love her so much. Its like she is almost back to the woman she was. well sort of. she's more "normal" now, more so than she has been in almost three years. its a different normal, but she feels great and looks so healthy. she drives and does so many things. its great. I even see the small quirks in my dad as his efforts to show that he misses us. thats really nice.

dc is looking up. its nasty out, but its that type of morning when i'm all bundled up in my bed. I finally have a bed and a bedroom! its not set up yet, but we are working on that. Its just nice to have some privacy and a space in this weird little city to call my home.

Having steph here is like having another part of my family with me. Last night Saujan and I had dinner with Sonia's friends from georgetown. Claire, Laurel, and Diego. It was just really nice. They are such wonderful people. We had a dinner party and it was just really nice. really comforting. it was just nice to have people here that i could be myself with and felt instantaneously welcome with. it was just really nice to have that ease and comfort. it was like the first time that anyone here did that for me so i think thats why its so meaningful.

life is picking up. work is hanging in there. the trials of a new adult life is difficult but welcoming. so all in all, good.
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life is reckless, wonderful, and lovely [Sep. 24th, 2006|10:18 am]
[mood |calmcalm]

Last night I sat around the table with the unfamiliar and the familiar. I think that my experience here, however long, will be important here for many reasons. Its hard for me to think that I have been here almost a month and the continual transitions that I make affect me.

DC is an interesting place. To I love it? No. Do I hate it? No. Do I think that I have a tremendous amount to learn here? yes. I like my job a good amount. I love my boss. I'm working in the public policy sector of National Minority AIDS council. I'm an assistant, but am expected to be lobbying for abstinence policy in the next session. I'm expected to get student group initiatives started. I'm expected to do a lot, and most importantly learn a lot. My boss is rare in the fact that he has already used my language, given it to a Senator, and that senator put it in a bill. Thats although trivial, significant to me.

I move into my new apartment next weekend. It will be exciting. I'm ready to have my own bed and room again. I'm a little sick of living out of suitcases, although I must say its been fun living with my sister for the past month. I'll be living with an old high school friend, Saujan. That should provide to be entertaining I think. Its weird for me not to live with Andrew. I miss him a lot, but I also miss my old life a lot. This transitional period in life is just weird. I feel so connected to my life in Chicago, but feel quite challenged by what is in front of me.

I miss the feel of Chicago, the lake, the architecture, my apartment, my running path, my bike, HALO, and above all else, my friends. Just the way we were last year. All of them are dispersed throughout the country, and world for that matter. It just goes to show that life is nothing but a continual spectrum of moments, some fabulous, others not so fabulous; but what is important is that you live and love each one of them.

This place although quite foreign is challenging for me. Its not that easy for me to be here since it is not the culture nor environment that is tuned to me. I think its exciting. I am starting to meet some people, so that enhances my life a lot here already. I'm thankful that my sister is here, although quite busy with law school, she is a well of support for me. Then of course there is Steph. I always knew we'd end up in the same place. Its a great thing we are not living together, or else we'd kill each other. I love her like family, but she's too anal about things to live with her. She'd respond in the same way about me. I'm going to start volunteering at a conservation site, that will help me get out of the city and into some green. In the winter I will take an economics class and start learning Italian. I'm going to train for the Chicago Marathon next year.

Travel will continue. I'm going out to visit Jaione with Jose soon. Steph and I are going to ny to visit Shital. I think I'll probably be back in Chicago by early November. I think my parents are coming up for Thanksgiving, which is really exciting. I miss both of them a lot. My mom is doing amazingly; she drives, volunteers 4 days a week, is taking classes at San Jac, and doing yoga. Although she is lonely, I'm quite proud and continually surprised what she can do and how far she has come. My father tests me as always, but I have found to rethink our relationship and try my best to understand him and why he is the way he is. I give him credit where deserved and have been really working on trying not to be soo hard on him. My anger towards him has dissipated. I might be going to Ecuador for Christmas. I am feel mixed about going there. I do want to go, however, could stand to pass Christmas with friends in Chicago, or invite them out here. I have less of a break (10 days), so to fly out of the country for that amount, just seems a little absurd. I also don't want want to use my vacation days because I am fairly certain that I will be going to Kenya next summer to visit Andrew.

Grad school opportunities are exciting. I know what I want to study and thats tremendous. It will most likely be west coast. But then again, Columbia does look tempting. Thats at least two years off though. Will probably take GRE's in the spring sometime.

Ok, well I think thats about it. Life right now is good. challenging. exciting.
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julie the fuck up [Jul. 18th, 2006|11:25 am]
items lost in the past fouth months:

cell phone: 2x
favorite jacket
sense of direction

things that need to be acquired:

steady income

im in sort of one of those fuuuuucckkkk positions right now. why not just get on a plane and go somewhere for a while? i think that would be a good idea. or just prolong my ability to fuck up. wooo!

i really need to find a job. why do employers in san francisco hate me?
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jes. [Jul. 15th, 2006|11:50 am]
i need to stop this saturday hang over business. nneeed gatorade.
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and thats a wrap. [Jun. 19th, 2006|02:17 pm]
The best way I can describe how I feel right now is that it hurts to be awake. Much not to be surprise, I cried most of yesterday. The moments after my family left were just a giant wreck for me.

I came home after breakfast at walker brothers with the fam and steve, and then saw jaione. She looked at me and stared, teared up a bit. Then I gave her a hug and said not yet. We then went immediately to lunch with her family and a few other friends including steph, andrew, gabriella, and some other girl that I forget the name of. Gabriela and I were the main ones talking as usual these days. She lets it all hang out there and is hilarious. I'm happy i met her right before I left.

After lunch, jaione took steph, gabriela, the other girl home, then me and andrew. we went up stairs to the apt. i went to the bathroom walked out, and then just held her and started crying. cried my eyes out. Then she left. Then I realized this experience at Northwestern is over. I'm here for the rest of the summer, but everything has changed so quickly, so suddenly. I feel like little parts of me have left. This family that I have worked, cried, and loved to death has left me. I know not really left me, but there are some things that are just so strong that it forces you to take a deeper look inside at yourself and what you have gone through the past four years. For me this experience has been shattering, fulfilling, a dream and nightmare, rewarding, challenging, and ...so much that words cannot even come to describe right now.

Jaione left, I cried for two hours after that, I fell asleep along with andrew on the couch, went for a walk along the lake, cried again, and then went to see Nacho Libre with andrew. After that we sat, talked, and such on the couches until i fell asleep. Exhaustion is all I feel-emotionally and physically. Just said bye to steph, but thats much different, its weird because I feel as if she is going to end up coming out to sf too. She is going for two weeks to visit and a friend and vacation. She'll love it, there is no way around it.

Alright, home tomorrow. I'm going home for a week and then vegas for a few days, back in Evanston by the 4th of July, just in time for a crazy bday! yay!

Life is challenging, life is love and glorious. I do have faith that my next step is going to be right. I'll be back in the place that feels like home in a few short months for life. How weird and cool is that? My dad (ironically of all people) said it like this:

You are damned lucky.

I am lucky and I love my life.
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(no subject) [Jun. 4th, 2006|12:50 pm]
writing last. paper. of undergraduate career. woo woo.

noowwwwww, whats after this?

-anal perf shit

-appplying for jobsssssssssssss

i do not want to write anymore!
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too soon [May. 22nd, 2006|02:11 am]
last week of class starts tomorrow. mother fuck. im not ready for this to be over. not ready at all. not ready.

last week i went out every night. i cannot not stand going out. i cannot stand to not be with my friends the last few weeks.

anupa, jaione andrew and i were all sitting on the beach yesterday. talking. laughing. sharing in the sun. it occurred to me that this is hitting its end. i don't know what im going to do without jaione in my daily life. seeing her daily. andrew and anupa will be here for a few more months with me, so i'll have that to deal with later.

kristin has taken some getting used to her not being here. but i still miss her. i do not even know what i will even think of doing without steph. cannot even begin to contemplate.

nicole will be here this summer. that will help tremendously.

im in love with my life here. im not ready to let it go. i don't think i'd ever be ready. but im just not sure if i can let this family go. just so hard.

change sucks. real world awaits. berkeley/sf, life, and love are coming soon. in the meantime, i must just enjoy it.

why can't i just take all of these people with me everywhere i go?

i know im being dumb. but it just sucks.
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