Category Archives: Life

The Apartment Hunt (And Other Reflections On Life)

I used to love apartment hunting. When I first moved to Madison, few things gave me as much joy as plotting my inevitable release from the one bedroom apartment I shared with two other people. I loved touring apartments. I loved spending hours on different websites comparing layouts and designs. It felt so grown up.

But I have to admit, as I contemplate my 17th move in 8 years, I am thoroughly sick of apartment hunting. 

I think it is mostly moving around Madison. For the, like, half a second when I thought I was moving to Texas, the new adventure stirred me with excitement and I probably would have jumped in with enthusiasm. But as I’m fairly committed to Wisconsin for at least the next year, no new adventure exists. I know the housing options in Madison. I’ve studied them carefully. And I know what it will cost to exit student housing into the “real world.” Eek. 

I tried passing off the apartment hunt on Bethany, but she demonstrates extreme indifference towards where we live, so there went that plan. (Actually, I take that back. She is quite opinionated if I suggest a place she considers cheap, sketchy, or somehow uninteresting. But don’t expect her to locate a place on her own. It won’t happen. Sorry. That sounds passive aggressive. She truly is a good roommate. I like living with my sister. But did I mention I’m sick of apartment hunting?) 

So, I’m back to apartment hunting. If I want to torture myself, I sometimes look at townhouses for sale instead and imagine having a place that is mine. A place where I can paint the walls or tear up the carpet or replace the shelving. A place that means permanence and roots. 

It is a weird dichotomy. On the one hand, I crave the adventure that comes with somewhere new. On the other, I’m getting a little tired of new. I’ve done new a lot. I’ve done Tennessee, England, Idaho, Colorado, and Thailand. And Wisconsin. A lot of places in Wisconsin. 

It comes down to impatience, mostly. I’m e-mailing with an apartment complex now. I think the person I am talking to checks their e-mail once a day. At least, that’s the response rate. And I’m impatient. I want to just apply and move forward already. But I also have questions. 

So goes life. I want to know what I am doing post-August. I want to live in a place I won’t move from in a month, or half a year, or a year. I want a job that says permanence. Because I’m impatient and sometimes forget I’m only 26. 

The process of becoming is a challenging one. Whether it means impatience in housing, impatience in education, impatience in social distancing, I just want to move forward. But the becoming is important. Through the angst, I develop the person I am. The person I will become. I learn the lesson I’m supposed to learn. But gosh darn it, sometimes I wish I’d just learn it already. 

I named this blog “fernweh,” meaning homesickness for the abroad. Sometimes, though, I feel the opposite. I feel homesickness for the familiar. I wish I’d just settle, plant roots, and be content. But always in that feeling, I feel the itch. The itch for new. The itch for other. 

And so I apartment hunt. Because maybe tomorrow someone, somewhere, will list something that somehow combines my desire for ‘new’ with my desire for ‘home.’ 

And, wow, does that feel like an angsty way to end this post. But I’m feeling angsty today! I promise to calm down once I’ve settled on a new apartment. 

Social Distancing (And Wal Mart Adventures)

How’s social distancing going? Today I broke my plastic hair-pin-lace loom by using too much force. Didn’t even know that was possible. I now have a quarter-finished scarf. 

Bethany decided I needed to get out of the apartment. (Actually, she decided we were out of chocolate and she wanted to go grocery shopping but she still doesn’t drive.) 

 So we went to Wal Mart.

On the bright side, the shelves are better stocked than they were. We saw toilet paper and hand soap. Still a lot of empty shelf space, though. 

It was surprisingly crowded. Wal Mart had signs everywhere encouraging  people to stand 6 feet apart and periodically made announcements over the speaker to tell people to go  home if sick and even if healthy, stay 6 feet apart. Which, lets face it, is nearly impossible in such crowded aisles. 

But it does lead to two extreme reactions in shoppers. The first type look horrified if you venture down the same aisle as them (even if on the other side of the aisle) and give you furtive glares every few seconds. The second type look amused at their daring in coming close to you. As soon as they break the 6 feet, they grin and look mischievous. 

I don’t know that either reaction is an improvement. 


I’m pumped full of antihistamine at the moment and nodding off at 7:45 PM so I’ll keep this post short and sweet: 

Thank you to all 414 followers of this blog. You make the difference between talking to myself and a community I get to engage with. The last three years have been a doozy, but I’m fortunate to have such an incredible group of people behind me. 

And to the 485 people who accessed my Thinking It Through: Life as a verbal processor post this year alone, I don’t understand why that post specifically took off but I appreciate your views. 

A New Hobby

Bethany informed me that all my new free time means I need a new hobby. Apparently, my increased reading does not impress her. Instead, she informed me that I should show up to Hobby Lobby after her shift so she could find something for me to do. 

The thing is, I’ve tried most crafty hobbies. Years ago. Walking through Hobby Lobby went something like this…

“Knitting? Aunt tried to teach me that when I was 9.”

“Hair-pin-lace? Another aunt tried to teach me that when I was 11.”

“Crochet? Tried that when I was 15.” 

“Cross-stitch? I think I did that when I was 10. Grandma bought me a kit.”

“Sewing? Oh, yeah, Grandma taught me how to sew a skirt and use a sewing machine. Was that freshman year?” 

Scrap booking? Oh, yeah. I tried that after my first summer camp. Probably still in parents’ craft supply box somewhere.” 

“Adult coloring books? I’ve got a lot of those.” 

So, finally, I told Bethany: I’m willing to relearn anything. I’ll invest in it. Pick a hobby and we’ll work on it together over the next few weeks. I imagined us knitting cute blankets, or sewing PJ pants, or painting wooden boxes or something. 

Bethany decided we should hand-sew stuffed animals. 

A few dismal attempts to sew dolls out of fabric scraps and socks came to mind, but I shoved it down and said I’d give it a try. She then dismissed the needs for patterns or actual structure. When I found a pattern I liked online, she eyeballed it and sketched something for me to cut out. 

Not shockingly, this did not work. 

But honestly, I’ll blame my own skills for the rest. It was supposed to be a chick. Then I tried to make it an owl.

And it kind of just turned into a demented pigeon. 

I do not really foresee this hobby taking off.

The Whole World In His Hands

My sister-in-law posted the lyrics to this children’s song on Instagram and I’ve had it stuck in my head the whole day. A lovely reminder. (Gotta go Donut Man when listening though 😉 )



(Also, thank you to those who have asked about he interview. I honestly don’t know how it went. And I received no time line for when I will find out.)

How Many Cups of Coffee Am I At?

Me: “Yeah, the new guy also works as a waitress.” 

Boss: “You mean waiter?” 

Me: “That’s it! I couldn’t think of the male version of a waitress.”

Boss: “I’m the one who has been at work since 5:30. What’s your excuse?”

With the two of us on the job, I have serious concerns about how this brief is going to turn out. Good thing we hired an intern. #ohwait #I’malsotheintern.

Sunday Night Rambles

I planned on blogging about the movie Little Women tonight, but turns out I left my computer at home so I am writing this post from my phone. And it is difficult to convey much from a phone.

Plus, I am tired.

It was a long weekend. Good to see family. Good to celebrate the life of Grandma Bea. She was an incredible lady.

And now it is good to be back in my apartment and preparing for the week. A very long week. But Spring break is not far off and with it a variety of fun plans!

Until then (or at least, until tomorrow), have a good night everyone.