safe and sound

This is my "happy place"
and where my thoughts have been drifting to frequently over the last week or so.
Nothing but fresh air and the hum of crickets and echoes of loon calls and gentle lapping of waves against the shore.
This is my safe place.
And although I am happy where I am right now; I would give almost anything for one day in the endless paths and trees and vines and rocks found nestled in the foothills of Raymond.


keep on keeping on

but the sun always comes out tomorrow


still inspired

sometimes you just need to find yourself again,
even if you haven't entirely lost yourself in the first place. 

through the lens of a camera, the melody of a song or the words of a book.
the way the sun colors the smog of a city.
the sound of tiny feet pounding up stairs.

You begin to realize the the things that inspired you back in the day are worn out and tired,
and you have become worn out and tired.
washed up and stuck in the same routine.
It's comfortable and familiar and warm.

But then you read something the reminds you of who you are.
and what you want to do
and who you want to become.
you start writing again and delving into worlds entirely your own and completely and utterly full of nonsense.
you remember what makes you feel alive;
what get's your heart beating and your mind running and makes the world saturated with bright colors.

you become inspired.

I had a moment tonight as I was trying to fall asleep.
My mind started running in a million different directions and all of a sudden I had to write it all down before I lost to the unconscious land of dreams and half formed thoughts.
I had to sift through photographs and snapshots from the last few months and look at them again. I pulled up old quotes hidden in the depths of my hard drive and open up old documents from years ago with a couple of sentences of tangled words typed hastily down. They screamed of potential and the empty promises I had made those thoughts; that I would complete them, expand them, discover their fullness. 

I found myself setting goals and finding motivation to get back into old pattens and habits that pushed me and challenged me and focused me.

and I realized...
I am still inspired.


"I'm in a bad mood."

"Why are you in a bad mood?" I had asked, confused, because all in all, the teaching day had gone pretty smooth.

"Well, when other people are in bad moods, it puts me into a bad mood. Sophie was in a bad mood, Megan was in a bad mood, you were in a bad mood." She had said.

I'll admit, I had a rough morning. I was homesick. It happens. And I'll admit, after I heard that, I snapped a bit. "Well, sorry I had a rough day," I had replied, and turned on my heel and was racing down the stairs before she could finish yelling after me; my go-to angry music already turned up in my ears.

I fumed as I stormed up the ten flights of stairs that stood between me and my apartment. How totally and completely inconsiderate! She had no idea why I was in a bad mood, or even the common decency to ask me if I was okay. I thought about all of the things I wanted to say to her later that night. I wanted to tell her how unfair it was to blame her bad mood on mine, after all of the terribly rough weekends she's had and I never once complained about her mood to her. I wanted to tell her how rude she was for making me feel even worse about my day. I wanted to ask her if she knew what it was like to live with survivor's guilt; to pass anniversaries of friend's deaths and to walk with a constant reminder of the imperfect body I am stuck in. I wanted to know if she knew how many rude things she said in a day; and how her comment about needing an anorexic roommate because I like to snack last weekend made me feel like I was the ugliest and overweight person in the whole country of China. The list went on, as I finally reached my apartment, opened my computer and read the email that my dad had sent me that morning. It was sweet and wonderful and it made me more homesick than I was before. And I cried as I changed into leggings and a sweatshirt and left my room, angry music still blasting in my ears as I ran back down the stairs and down, across campus, and to the track where I pushed my body past my limits.

There is a certain peace that comes when I'm struggling for air and the sea breeze is messing up my hair and my knees feel like jello because they are being used for the second time in five years. Your breathing becomes the only thing you are aware of. And what's that thing he's always telling me when I'm having a meltdown?

"Remember to breathe, Chelsabelle. And everything will be okay."


sick for home

I am homesick today.

For New England. For my bed. For the clean air. For my family. For my car. For alone time. For my friends. For his smile. For the Atlantic ocean. For his laugh. For him.

hopefully spending the afternoon with my favorite little students will brighten my day up.


the sun is soaking into my skin

I experience seasons as if they were emotions.

I was thinking about it last night as I was trying to fall asleep. My emotions towards life in general are not only affected by the weather and the time of the year; but I can only accurately describe how I am feeling by referencing it to a season. Every time I get a waft of the coming of fall, or feel the first rays of the summer sun; I feel something stir inside of me. I am moved.

It's never the same feeling twice, but it always returns to the same basic idea.


The seasons turn constantly, and life carries on and never stops for anyone or anything. But when I smell spring in the air and feel it in the warm breeze on my face, I can't help but feel alive.

And today, the sun soaked into my skin as I walked downtown to pick up some apples from the street market. And I felt alive.



is teaching these two faces every day and feeling like I'm making a difference in their lives.



I miss New England and my family, but I never want to leave my students.


real talent

People help the people
                             And if you're homesick, give me your hand and I'll hold it
People help the people
And nothing will drag you down


In the quiet of China

It's just me and the resident kitty, Timmy, on our floor tonight. Everyone else left for vacation yesterday, but I decided to stay at the school to save my knee, money and to finish classes. It's been a quiet day, full of naps, snacking and movies and Timmy curled up by my feet. It's comforting, having him here. The school is empty of both kids and teachers and the street lights below me glow over empty streets. China is quiet tonight and I'm nostalgic. The world continues to turn back in the States and so much is changing back there and I wonder what kind of world I'll be retiring to in a few months. But it doesnt matter. In the silence, I find myself dreaming and listing and making goals and plans. It's like I'm rediscovering myself here, and everything that I forgot, I'm beginning to remember again. And that fills the silence up with my own music and words and emotions and feelings. 

And it's a beautiful song.