Wednesday, March 31, 2010



Hello Friends! I am currently writing this blog entry 34,000 feet above sea level, on the flight back to Brussels. After crying for the first hour of my flight (for all of you who know me well, this is a normal routine), I decided to reflect on my amazing week with unforgettable friends.

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who was able to visit with me! I had the best of accommodations (and a lot of laughs), thanks to Ashley and Dan, and had a blast hanging out with them. Their cute apartment on Broadway is nothing but perfect, and I am so delighted for the both of them. Ashley is just as cute and lovable as the day I left, it was so comforting to be re-united with her!!! I was able to “bunk up” with Craig, who came from Maryland, and it was so fantastic to see him! He is a hard working masters student who provides inspiration to many, and I am delighted his second semester is going smoothly.

I also got the incredible privilege of seeing Amy again, meaning I got to see her 2 times in 3 months! I am a lucky twin! Living on different continents, I say that is pretty good! She is about to embark on a PhD program in South Bend, and I will be visiting immediately. I also got to see Dan the Man, one of the funniest and kindhearted people I know. He was in NYC for showing of his senior thesis movie, and is headed to Mexico next week for a job opportunity. Good luck Dan! I also got to catch up with Michelle, another determined and hard working friend, who is living the dream in DC and keeping all of her doors open to opportunity.

Moral of this trip: I have the greatest friends in the world. In these 7 days, I feel refreshed, excited, inspired, encouraged, and supported, and LOVED. It is so nice to know that I can live in a different country, be reunited with life-long friends, and pick up just where I left off.

I am not a journalist or writer, so I don’t exactly know how to express my feelings through words, but I can honestly say that I am so thankful for the friends I was able to visit. I am so thankful to have ALL of my friends in my life, even if I didn’t get to see them this week. Some people say your group friends “Define” who you are, and if that’s true, then it’s a BIG complement!

I have also made really strong friendships with girls here in Belgium, and I can definitely say that I look forward to our reunions (that are similar to the one I just had in NYC), and can say with confidence it will be just as fun. I miss all of my friends from high school and college dearly, but realize it is GOOD to miss them, because it shows how much of an impact they have on my life. My appreciation for my friends and family is unexplainable. You’ll just have to trust me : )


I loved the city, it is very European in many ways: good transportation, hustle and bustle of a big city, and (unfortunately) the same weather. However, I don’t care how rainy and windy it is, I was with superior company throughout my trip, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. We got to see so many sights! Some of them included: Central Park, Rockefeller Center, the United Nations, Brooklyn Bridge, Colombia University, Staten Island, The Statue of Liberty, and the New York City Library. All of these things were beautiful, and I loved taking lots (maybe too many) photographs around the city.

We ate a TON of good food, it was great to experience some ethnic food in New York, and we also went to Taco Bell (in honor of 352 S. Center Street) and some delicious pizza. We also went to Toms Restaurant, the one used as a model for the sitcom Seinfeld.


I went on my Teach for America final interview (again) and felt pretty confident that it went well, seeing how this is my 2nd time going through the exact same process. However, when it came to the question “Why Teach for America, why not choose another teaching program?” I had to pause. I had to think. And I didn’t know the answer. I realize I can make an impact anywhere. I don’t have to go through Teach for America to teach low-income students to love science or math. So, I am hoping I get placed into the corps to Teach for America, but if not, I am very confident I can still make a difference elsewhere.

I am beginning to collect all of my documents for teaching in South Korea, and in the final stages of that process. The application and phone interview are complete, so now is the waiting game. I also am applying to work on a cruise ship for 6 months with my 2 rock star friends: Louise and Henrriikka. We all agree: it’s a once in a lifetime experience, and there is no better time than the present. So, we’ll see for the upcoming months on what plan formulates. I just have to remember: life happens while we are busy making plans.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Photography Month ~ Continued...

As an aspiring photographer, I need to get more comfortable with taking photos of people, so here are some photos that I took at the Brussels St. Patty's Day Parade! Thanks for taking a look!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


It’s March. We got snow last week. New conclusion: sun is my anti-depressant!!!

Today it is nice and SUNNY and I celebrated by dusting off my cherry red sunglasses and taking a nice brisk walk outside to look at the new violet and orange flowers. So in my quest for signs of springtime – comes Spring Cleaning… de-cluttering my life and trying to simplify a few things. Well, I don’t have many possessions to give away, so I am doing some mental ‘cleansing’ and getting my rid of some cobwebs that were accumulating in my mind.

What does this all mean? One simple word: PLAN. My new plan: to not have a plan [and be okay with it]. I am currently a final applicant for Teach for America, a wonderful organization that helps low-income students have the opportunity to receive a proper education. In every aspect, it is wonderful. I have the upmost respect and gratitude for those who take on this challenge, and firmly believe that these teachers really do make a difference. So??

My whole life I have wanted to help. I believe that the saddest thing in the world is when people don’t reach their full potential. I want to help people to conquer their goals. BUT, how am I supposed to preach about ‘potential’ and ‘goals’ when I don’t even know if I have reached it myself? What I am trying to say is: what experience do I have that will inspire students? Here are these students: fighting for an equal education that many others just take for granted, yet I am up there teaching, trying to gain respect. Fact: I need personal challenges so that I can gain self-respect, not just respect from others. I need stories that make me who I am. How do I accomplish this? More travel. If I get re-accepted into TFA, I will do it with the upmost honor. However, if I don’t get accepted, it’s totally okay with me! I will just pack up my bags for one more year and move somewhere else. I think this is completely necessary because no comfort zone + adaptability = self respect.

Upon returning from a study abroad experience, some say “I am a whole new person”. I completely disagree. I am the same girl with the same morals and the same priorities. However, the way I choose see the world is completely altered. I don’t think of ideas as “set in stone,” but now look at ideas as “a fluid pathway” that can be changed at any time.

I guess this stream-of-consciousness blog can be summed up in the thought - that whatever happens: life goes on, and we need to learn to be comfortable with ourselves before trying to help others.

I know that in 2 days I will have another mental flip-out because my Type A personality will want me to have a 5,10, and 20 year plan, but I am doing my best to just relax. I am so unbelievably blessed with the life I have been given so far, and I know there is something inside me to say “keep going”. My potential is not met yet. Not even close. What I do know is that I can’t sit still, and need to continue to look around. So what if I never find what I am supposed to do? Again: no problem. At least I will have some ridiculously good memories.

Best foot forward.

With much love ~ Chrissy