So much happens in the span of 7 days. We have so much information zooming towards us from all angles, at all hours, it can be difficult to find the time or head space to reflect on what we’ve just done, or even what we’re currently doing. But in this crazy age of Instagram, I find myself taking tons of photos every week that can document how I spend my days; what I do, what I notice, where I wander. I’m hoping, while also giving a little window into my life abroad, Wonder & Wander will help me appreciate the past week in lieu of just hurdling into the next one. Because as we know, “life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.”
Hi friends! It’s been a while, so I’ll just fill you in on some of the things I’ve been up to lately.
“The thing about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer—and yet also, like most things, so very simple—was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do. How there was no escape or denial. No numbing it down with a martini or covering it up with a roll in the hay. As I clung to the chaparral that day, attempting to patch up my bleeding finger, terrified by every sound that the bull was coming back, I considered my options. There were only two and they were essentially the same. I could go back in the direction I had come from, or I could go forward in the direction I intended to go.” – Cheryl Strayed, Wild
When I wake up this morning, the last thing I want to do is prick my finger.
That is also the first thing I do.
A drop of blood blooms from my flesh, is sucked up by the test strip like a hummingbird’s nectar. Several heartbeats pass, pulsing at the tip of my index finger, while the meter numerates me. 212 ml/dl– too high. I swing my arm over the side of the bed and dig through my purse to find my insulin pen. A few flicks of the vial to unsettle the air bubbles, a 1-unit air spray to make sure the needle is clear. Insulin smells like melted band-aids, and now so do my sheets. I dial 2 units, inject into the tender fat tissue several inches left of my belly button.
New needles glide through the skin so delicately, so precisely. I should be kinder to myself, re-use needles less often. Maybe I would bleed less; maybe my stomach wouldn’t be speckled with jewel-toned bruises.
Already two needles today, and my feet have yet to touch the ground.
— This is a story in parts, so before you read this, make sure to read Part 1! —
On the side of an interstate in the middle of nowhere-England.
Everyone was told to exit the bus, but we all sat in our seats for about 45 seconds soaking in how annoying this was.
Eventually we bundled up and walked to the side of the interstate. I was standing next to the same two guys I stood next to while waiting to get on the bus for the first time, you know, the guys who asked “if all the rumors were true.” He and his friend were 21-year-old students studying social science in Minnesota, and traveling around Europe for a few weeks during winter break. I’ve never met anyone who has loved Minnesota as much as these guys. They are the state of Minnesota’s biggest fans. For some reason, they were trying to persuade me to move there, and one of their big selling points was you can definitely get married there. What does that mean? Does he not think I can get married other places? Was he proposing? DID I MISS MY BIG CHANCE? I think my response was Oh, cool.