Tag Archives: journal

When your future relies on a language test

I recently had to Google “How to cope with expat depression” because it finally hit a week ago. I wouldn’t say I am legitimately depressed, but I am experiencing more waves of worry and self-doubt far more frequently than a couple months ago.

I moved from Houston, Texas to Cologne, Germany to start a master’s program in English this summer, but this did not happen. I didn’t score high enough on the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (the most difficult German language proficiency exam) to qualify for my completely-in-English master’s program. This means I couldn’t enroll and need to take another qualifying test, this time the Goethe Institut B2 Zertifikat exam.

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Blah blah blah, right. It’s a language exam, just study, shut up. I get that. But I am more bothered by the simple fact that all of my accomplishments so far mean nothing unless I pass a mid-level language exam.

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This, coupled with taking a 75% pay cut and dealing with difficult neighbors when trying to take blog photos, one of the few things that gives me creative joy, leaves me feeling dejected. On top of this I have three loan companies demanding payments of more than I make a month. But I have to remind myself that I am the one who made things this way. I decided to attend a college that cost $30,000 per year, I decided to leave my comfortable job, I decided to move to Germany.

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My master’s program, a job in writing and editing and my own personal happiness is currently dependent on this language exam. Maybe it doesn’t have to be, but it is the path I am currently committed to.

Top: Zara
Cardigan: Primark
Pants: J.Crew
Shoes: Zara
Earring: H&M

I check my Google Adsense account, SocialBlade and site stats religiously to try and figure out a way to make a little extra money and create content I enjoy. If any of you have tips, I would love to hear them. I have a few ideas for how to change my aesthetic and content, I just need to see it through.

A step back

I am going to be that douche who shows you their week on Instagram because, well, Blue Bell came back and I liked my outfits.


Houston was mysteriously cool and gloomy last Friday, so I took advantage and threw on a sweater. I hate me, too.



Blue Bell came back on Monday, and so did my cardigans apparently. Still wishing for fall.



Wearing black, blue and white to match the stormy sky. Or it could have just been a coincidence.



My croissant-breasted self hung out with a coworker and her manfriend at Neil’s Bahr, which I had surprisingly never visited. We missed out on the karaoke and instead watched people compare dick sizes show off their cars at a bar nearby and ate Chinese from a food truck. Solid night.


I came home to find that the BABYMETAL Funko Pop shirt I ordered was way too big, but at least it came with this cute little Su-metal. She is proudly kitsune-ing at me on my desk.



Friday: Tacos and new shoes. I bought these darling Zara booties for $10 on Poshmark. I check this damn app every day and add stuff to my “Likes” list during my commute to work. It’s so addicting. They’re not even paying me to say that, I just freaking love it.

Click here to check out my Instagram, or find me at @morning_ink. I follow back fellow bloggers and local shops and apps in Houston.


Dear July

One of my favorite series on YouTube is called “Letters to July” by Emily Diana Ruth. They are short video diaries that are only uploaded in July, and are written to the month. I enjoy Emily’s self-reflection, and liked when she invited guests to make their own video letters for her channel last year.

I decided to make my own. July is my least favorite month, so I was always curious about why she would choose this month to write to. I forget that the world doesn’t have to endure the intolerable heat Houstonians feel in July. I prefer October or February, but maybe writing to something that you have a difficult relationship with can be a better reflection of your personality.

Be sure to check out Emily’s series and her other videos, which are equally inspiring, here.

Go Goshen Go

Did I mention I went to college in Indiana? Eighteen-year-old me thought it would be a cool idea to move to a state I had never been to before to attend a tiny college where I knew absolutely no one.

And it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

My college friends fit so perfectly into my life, and are still people I love and can depend on. So I was really excited when one of my best friends from Goshen College got engaged and asked me to be a bridesmaid. We had all been looking forward to this trip for the past year, and it was every bit as hilarious and wonderful as I had hoped.

I enjoyed spending time downtown having drinks at our favorite bar and trying new and old food places, like El Camino Real #4 and Venturi. I was even reunited with my beloved co-op tiramisu, which I used to bike downtown for on rough days, or, you know, just because it is the best freaking tiramisu I’ve ever had in my life.














My old roommates and I walked around campus, and it felt strange to be back in such a familiar, yet changed place. Wildflowers and high grasses now grow where we used to climb over the train tracks, an underpass now connects both sides of campus and everything had a fresh coat of paint and updated security. Since we couldn’t enter the dorms, we took turns smelling through the door, the smell reminding us of our first years as college students. It was odd, and a little sad but I’m glad I visited. Some of my best memories are from college, and they allllllmost make me forget all the debt I accumulated from studying there.

Ally’s wedding was beautiful, and I teared up as I watched her walk down the aisle. I will share photos from that day in a future post. But I had a moment where all of my friends and I were dancing in a big circle, and I just looked around at them feeling proud of the adults we have become. We don’t all have life figured out, and I don’t know if we ever will, but I am proud to call these hilarious, appropriately immature and generous people my friends.

“And the lasting ties of friendship woven through with hopes and fears,
May they ne’er be brok’n asunder in the distant coming years;
Though our future paths may lead us to fair heights we cannot see,
Alma Mater, ‘ere we leave you, loyalty we pledge to thee.

Goshen College ever singing, to her motto we’ll be true,
Honor to our Master bringing, Alma Mater we love you.”


I got back from Germany a few days ago and I already can’t wait to go back.

I was accepted into an English Studies Master’s program at Bonn University, which is about 45 minutes from Cologne…where I will hopefully be moving this fall. What. What!

I have so much I need to do here before that time, but if all goes well, my little pup and I are going to travel across the Atlantic to begin a new life.

I am still processing this transition, and feeling extremely overwhelmed by everything I need to take care of to make sure this move goes as smoothly as possible. I am very nervous about Wesley flying, and I am trying to figure out how I am going to make money work. It’s going to be difficult, it already is, but I know it’s worth it.










I stayed in Cologne and visited Bonn for a day. I was only there a week, but I could have just stayed forever. I know this is the best decision for where I am in my life right now, and it just feels right.