Sorry I forgot to post a Mood Music Monday post yesterday but I was busy writing. Actually I’m still writing. If you’re interested, I’m working on a paper on the role of attorneys in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel within the broader context of the national security enterprise…

You don’t care. I know this. But I wanted to paint a picture of the amount of fun I’m not having right now…

For the most part, I’ve been working diligently and so I keep listening to this song to maintain a positive outlook on life and remind myself that my senior year of college is quickly coming to a close and I should not take my last few weeks for granted.

Today it’s a very Seattle day in Mid-MO and this song really has that rainy day vibe, so dig it.

Peace,
Ahn

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“Let us not take ourselves too seriously.”

In honor of Queen Elizabeth’s birthday yesterday and my recent struggle with unemployment, I thought this quote was appropriate. 

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As soon as something exciting happens to me, I will write about it, otherwise I am applying for jobs and watching copious amounts of television and reading “Foreign Policy” online. Although, I saw “The Company You Keep” and “42” this weekend, which were SO GOOD. You should see them both immediately. I almost forgot that I had a huge crush on Shia LaBeouf, and then I remembered. 

Love, 

Hahn

Guest Blog Post: Our Week in London by Young Greer

As many of you know, Hannah and I spent our last week abroad in London before returning to the U.S. for the summer. It was supposed to be a week filled with last minute sightseeing and relaxing, but instead it became the week from hell. We had to be out of our other hellhole, Alywn West, by Saturday afternoon and we spent our last days in Winchester packing, well, I did. Hannah decided it was an appropriate time to get some sort of mystery flu on Thursday and spent the remainder of our time in Winchester in bed. It was awesome! 

She mustered the strength to walk to the bus station Saturday afternoon and we arrived in London early evening. When we got off the bus, it was clear that Hannah was only days from death, yet I decided that we had to charge on towards the London Victoria Underground Station. Complicating our young struggle was our luggage, 3 suitcases, 2 backpacks and 2 purses that collectively easily weighed easily 500 pounds. Ok, maybe 200. The station was only a few blocks away but it took us almost 20 minutes…struggle. For some unknown reason, Hannah was 5 or so steps in front of me for our walk, only looking back for directions and the occasional look of death. 

I will never forget the look on Hannah’s face when we finally arrived at that God forsaken station. It was a combination of fright, anger, disappoint and defeat. The next thing I know, she turns to me and says “I can’t, I will pay for a taxi. I can’t do it” and then she started to cry. After I stopped to catch my breath, and laugh just a bit, I looked down the entrance of the underground and saw about a billion steps, I understood. Now, it might seem mean that I laughed at her, but at the time it was extremely hilarious, maybe you had to be there, but you should be glad you weren’t.

Equally as funny as Hannah’s emotional outburst is the conversation we shared in the cab.

“Hannah, are you ok?”

“I can’t, this week is so dumb”

“What are we going to do? I know, we will get on standby and be home by Monday morning!” 

“Monday!? I can’t wait until Monday! I have to go home now! We will just call my mom and we will go home.”

“Ok, great plan” 

Shortly after we arrived at our hostel, which happened to be on the second floor of a building whose first floor housed a pub.

We ordered a drink, connected to wi-fi, our best friend this semester, and called our parents.

About an hour later we checked in to our hostel and settled in for the week.

Earlier that week, we had hatched a plan for our visit to Westminster abbey. Being the sneaky college-tourists we are, we decided to go to a service at Westminster Abbey Sunday morning and avoid the entrance fee. Sadly, Hannah didn’t quite make it to church after she spent the night coughing, and making a sound similar to that of someone who was trying to cough up a lung. It was great. At this point she had also began to lose her voice and we were both worried. 

So, Sunday morning I got up and went to church, partly to see the Abbey and partly to escape the cough while Hannah stayed at the hostel. I returned that afternoon with lunch only to find Hannah in the same position as when I had left her hours before.  Later that afternoon I went down to reception and got us moved into a private room, to spare the other people that were in our room another night of listening to young Hannah hack up a lung and got a suggestion for a doctor’s office a couple of blocks away. 

Monday morning we headed in the general direction of the office, about a ten minute walk according to the receptionist at the hostel. Keeping up with me was the biggest struggle for young Hannah who already walks at a rather lethargic pace compared to me. I did my best at walking as slow as possible, but Hannah managed to stay about 10 steps back wandering around, ready to fall over at any time. 

Thanks be to God, we made it to the office and, of course, the doctor was at some training for the morning and wouldn’t be able to see her until the afternoon. We went to a Starbucks to call her mom, which was quite a sight and after only 10 seconds on the phone, Hannah handed me the phone, sad as could be, saying “you talk to her, she can’t understand me.”  After a quick conversation with the always delightful Susie Morningstar, we left the Starbucks and made our way to somewhere a bit quieter to wait for the doctor.  

Sidenote: this was also the time we heard that Baroness Thatcher had died! 

After a quick visit and some antibiotics Hannah and I headed to a drug store for water and sick people supplies and then back to the hostel. It was about this time that Hannah and I realized that her getting sick had prevented us from fighting with each other non-stop. It’s ok, we know we are ridiculous and that some people were worried about us spending the week together, we were worried too. 

After another delightful conversation with Hannah’s mom, I made my way to the local pharmacy to get some cough medicine that would hopefully help Hannah (and me) sleep that night. Hannah’s mom was adamant that I needed to get something with codeine, but when I asked the pharmacist, who spoke little English, if she had anything of the sort, she replied very sternly by saying “no! Codeine not good! Take this, no codeine, but very good!” and then moved on to the next customer. 

Tuesday we had planned on taking a day trip to the White Cliffs of Dover, but there was no way young Hahn would make it. So, Hannah stayed at the hostel and I made my way to the cliffs for the day.  It was an extremely beautiful site and since young Hahn couldn’t make it I brought her back a little piece of the white cliffs, a small token for her day in bed.

When I got back Tuesday night, we met “the Germans.” Seven incredibly loud, smelly and overall rude German men invaded our hostel room. Even though there was a no alcohol policy, and they knew that we obviously wanted to go to bed, they thought it was appropriate to pre-drink the night away…in our room. They let us know that when they would come back for the night, probably around 4 in the morning, they would be loud and wake us up, and that they hoped it would be ok. They were right, at 4 am they came in loud as could be, turned on the lights and continued to banter in German until I had had enough.  After some choice words, the lights were finally turned off and they began to settle into their beds, only to wake up again around 8 for breakfast, at which point I asked “How are you not hungover and asleep?” No reply, at least not in English. Wednesday morning we ventured out to the city to see the National Portrait Gallery, Hannah’s new favorite café, Pret A Manger and Harrods, but not before stopping at the front desk to inform them of the hooligans in our room and ask for a change. 

Alert the media! Hannah made it a full 6 hours out with the general public before returning to our hostel for an afternoon nap. Luckily, she was feeling much better, probably because of the Pret A Manger, and my delightful company, I’m sure. After dinner at, you guessed it, Pret, we settled in for the night.

Thursday morning we headed to Newbury to see DOWNTON ABBEY! I COULD NOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT!!! It was the best place on earth. Wow wow wee wow! We came, we saw, we conquered and we were changed forever! And now we really can’t wait for the Season 4 premiere! 

At the beginning of the week we had decided that if we made it to the end of the week, we would treat ourselves to Chipotle Thursday afternoon, and that’s exactly what we did. In typical Hahn and Greer fashion we bickered the entire way to the Chipotle over the correct way to get there along with other completely obscure things and after arriving at the glorious chipotle, we ate, we drank and we were merry. Not only for the Chipotle, but because we were going home the next day! 

5am Friday morning we leaped out of bed, knowing that we would be in our own beds that night, checked out and made our way to the train station. We got to Heathrow, paid our overweight baggage fees and awaited our flight to paradise…the United States! 

Being in such close proximity for 8 hours was a recipe for stupid fights and we sure had them, but what else is new. Around 2pm we landed at the Raleigh-Durham airports and made our way through customs. Now, here comes the part of our story that gets a bit sad. Once we made it through customs, there were nice, old men there to help us get to our connection. Sadly our flights were in different terminals and all of a sudden we were being pulled away, leading to the saddest goodbye in history. We didn’t get a change to have one more fight, or to laugh at ourselves for our fight, but only to say “goodbye, see you in August!” and then we parted our separate ways. 

Hannah and I both made it home that night and had never been more thankful to have survived the semester and more importantly the week. Maybe God was looking out for our general well-being by making Hahn sick because He knew the fighting that would ensue, or maybe it was just a coincidence, but either way, we both survived and that’s all that matters. 

Young Greer

“And it’s kicking and it’s yelling and it’s bruising and it’s swelling but the writing’s on the wall and we both know what it’s been telling us to do.”

I know that Mood Music Monday is supposed to be a positive song, but today I just have to strike a different note, but not necessarily a bad one. As my mom pointed out to me the other day, I am nearing the one year anniversary of single-hood after being with someone for a really long time. I haven’t written about this before because it’s very personal and quite frankly I didn’t see why I should but today I happened to turn on this song and it completely spoke to me and I knew I wanted to say some things about it.

As my college life comes to a close, I’ve been faced with a million decisions: Will I go to law school? Grad school? Will I get a job? Where will I work? Will I move back to St. Louis? What the hell will I do with my life?

This has been very overwhelming. There are so many days when I feel completely and utterly unable to make a decision. I have so many questions that I can’t seem to sift through them to get down to how I actually feel. But then I stop and remember that last year I learned perhaps the most important lesson of my semi-adult life so far.

Although I didn’t want to, although I still loved this person and had fun with him and he made me laugh and feel comfortable and was just a fabulous person to be with, I knew something in me had changed. I didn’t even know what it was at the time but there was something inside me that was gently suggesting that I question whether our relationship was helping us grow anymore. I knew that it wasn’t.

I guess my point is that there are so many times in life where you come to a point where you have to make decisions that you just absolutely would rather do anything than make. And so you dig your heels in the mud and you try to bury the questions. The thing is, they won’t go away. They’ll keep coming back until you have the courage to do the thing you know you need to do.

Mary Oliver’s poem “The Journey” is my dad’s favorite and now I know why. She says:

“But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.”

Mary got it right. We spend a lot of time in life trying to save everyone else’s life and doing what we think is best for them but don’t recognize when we’re doing this out of self-preservation. So I guess that I hope someone reads this when they’re standing at the edge of a big decision, not sure if they can get through it because I can say that not only can you get through it, but life will open up to you in ways that you could never have imagined.

Never ignore your own wisdom- it won’t lead you astray.

Welp, that’s all I got. Peace.
Ahn

Type-1 Diabetes

It’s my last week at Winchester. :[ I’m in denial right now, but on Friday I am going to be very sad. Greer and I are going to have an exciting week in London after that, but I’m going to miss my little English home very much. Winchester will always hold a very special place in my heart.

But more on that later. I have to get on my soapbox.

I was noodling around Buzzfeed this morning before Greer and I head off to lunch and to do some errands in town, and came across a little post showcasing funny ironic pictures. In the post was this picture:

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While I certainly don’t suggest that a juvenile diabetic have a large cup of sugar soda, there’s nothing really ironic about this picture. Why?

Because Juvenile Diabetes (or Type-1 Diabetes), which KFC is raising money for in the photo, isn’t caused by the excessive consumption of sugar. It’s a genetic auto-immune disease, that occurs in children, in which the pancreas and the insulin hormone is attacked by the body, causing hypoglycemia (high blood sugar), which can be fatal. Luckily, in recent years and for people living in countries with good healthcare, the disease has become easily treatable and many diabetics lead relatively normal lives with only a few side effects. There is no cure, however. Type-2 Diabetes, which usually occurs in adults and has become an epidemic in the United States as the majority of us lead unhealthy lifestyles, occurs when a person puts so much stress on their pancreas due to excessive consumption of sugar and lack of exercise that their pancreas can’t keep up. The pancreas, however, does not die altogether unlike Type-1 diabetes. Type-1 diabetics will have diabetes for their whole life, while type-2 diabetes is developed and can be effectively cured.

As a type-1 Diabetic myself, this is a misunderstanding I run into a lot. While I usually just brush people’s ignorant and often hurtful comments aside, because I am guilty myself of saying a lot of ignorant things, I saw this post and was angered and then thought, “Oh, this is why I have a blog.” So, here I go.

You should really think twice before you make a negative comment about any disease, because chances are someone in the room has been somehow affected by that disease whether personally or through someone they know. The constant association with diabetes and obese people is really quite hurtful. Especially since type-2 diabetes is also a genetic disease and I know one seemingly healthy type-2 diabetic who simply was diagnosed with the disease because it ran in his family. I get really frustrated having to constantly explain to people that I am not a type-2 diabetic. But mostly, I feel kind of bad for people who do have type-2 diabetes, even though, especially in the United States, it’s probably their fault.

Everyone in life has their own cross to bear and their own redemption story. Nobody’s perfect and a little compassion goes a long way. Even if a person is suffering from type-2 diabetes because of their own unhealthy lifestyle, think of all the stupid things in your life that you’ve done that have resulted in unfavorable consequences for yourself before you judge that person.

I’m really blessed not to have a really life-threatening disease but in the midst of trying to solve the type-2 diabetes epidemic in the United States, I think we have created a stigma that has also caused a lot of shame for type-1 diabetics as well, who have had the disease since birth. I know a lot of type-1 diabetics who would agree with me.

I’m using diabetes as an example because I am personally affected by it, but I know other people with certain diseases or sicknesses who have also had their feelings hurt by ignorant comments and stigmas. I believe this is especially true for people who suffer from eating disorders, learning disabilities, depression and other mental illnesses. I think the important lesson to be learned here is that everyone is fighting a certain battle and we (myself included) should all think twice before commenting on something that we really don’t know a lot about.

On a lighter note, look for a blog post about my trip to Bath with my Mom and little sister soon! Fun! Also, someone figure out how to make time go slower so I can stay here an extra month or so.

Love,

Hahn

Ella

Because my parents are so annoyingly terrible at admitting that our dog is an animal and not a human child, I sometimes pretend to hate my dog. But I don’t. At all. I actually unabashedly love her. Is she a total piece of poop sometimes? Yes. Does she howl with excitement for 30 straight minutes any time someone comes in the door? Absolutely. Do I kind of like how annoying she is? Yeah… Not gonna lie. So I have today off school which means I get to do my school work cuddled up on the couch with ma dog, Ella. She is a Havanese and she is adorable. I think my Instagram followers are getting annoyed with me posting pics of her so I thought I might as well make a blog post about my little creature! Enjoy this photo montage:

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Well there ya have it 🙂 happy Monday everyone!! Love, Ahn

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