The One Where I Burn Out: August 2019

Thursday, August 01st - Today was my first day off from my training, and it was spent in a little bit of a funk. This class is helping me learn so much, but it also means I’m processing tough information/emotions all the time. I think the biggest thing I’m working through right now is how to love people knowledgeably. I try my hardest to love people to the best of my ability, but I’m learning that the way I give love is not necessarily the way other people need to receive it. Loving people knowledgeably means loving them the way they need to be loved. For whatever reason, this is a hard lesson to learn. I’m definitely learning the value of self care, hence me doing a 5k on my stationary bike while watching Friends.

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Friday, August 02nd - This morning I finished this amazing book. It’s the only book I’ve finished this summer, though I’ve been flipping through some others. I highly, highly, highly recommend it to anyone who has been hurt by the church and wonders where to go from there. It’s just a really good book.

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Saturday, August 03rd - Today was really not a good one, so here’s a picture of the watermelon I cut up to take to my class potluck.

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Thursday, August 08th - Yesterday was my second to last day of the class I’m taking, and boy oh boy am I glad this part is almost over. The last two weeks have been some of the most emotionally draining weeks that I’ve ever experienced, and it’s nice to have a couple days off. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, though, I wrote a lot today (see the badly edited picture below- sorry, it was dark in the room), and drank a lot of tea. Self-care is important, friends. Please remember that.

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Sunday, August 11th - This is the face of a very happy college Sophomore who got all of her financial clearance and registration finalization stuff done a whole month and a half before school starts up again. It’s a good Sunday.

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Thursday, August 15th - Today was slower than others have been this week. I’m somehow avoiding a bug that’s been going around my household, and here’s hoping the avoidance continues. I don’t have much to say about today (I was literally making smalltalk with my journal this morning), but here’s a picture of some pretty sunflowers.

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Saturday, August 17th - Yeah, avoiding the bug didn’t go too well, and today I could be found in bed rewatching old episodes of Jane the Virgin even though I’ve seen them so many times already. I really hate being sick, and today wasn’t that much fun, but the time to rest was good nonetheless. Here’s hoping I feel a lot better tomorrow.

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Saturday, August 24th - It’s been a bad week. It’s been a hard month. I think that’s all for now.

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The One Where I Miss Washington: July 2019

Monday, July 01st- As the saying goes, today was a lazy, hazy, crazy day of summer (minus the crazy). I woke up later than usual which kinda threw everything else off, and I’m definitely not in the most positive of head spaces. Summer is always a weird season for me because I never know what it’s going to be like. Last July I was spending three-five nights with a theatre company, and then towards the end I spent eight days in France and Luxembourg. Last July was really good, and I miss it. This July is still so unknown, which I’m trying to be thankful for. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to drink some coffee and hope my mood perks up.

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Tuesday, July 02nd- Back at the beginning of June, I told Emma that I was pretty sure the first two weeks of July would be the hardest. My reasoning was that I’d get home in the middle of June and have a couple weeks of pure laziness to adjust to summer, plus a road trip with my mom to central and southern California. However, once July hit, I would have two weeks before (hopefully) starting my volunteer work with the place I received counseling back in 2018. Those two weeks have officially hit, and I realized this morning that I was completely correct- so far it’s been rough, but I guess it has only been two days. Emma suggested I really get to work on the whole driver’s license thing, but when I went to make an appointment for my driving test, I discovered that there are no available appointments until after my permit is not longer valid. So, the new plan is to just get to work on practicing my driving, go renew my permit (which I found out you can do, but it’s unclear as to if I have to retake the written test or not), and then take my driving test. This is literally the only thing I absolutely have to do this summer.

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Wednesday, July 03rd- Today was SUCH a good day! I drove my grandparent’s car around their neighborhood as well as my own, and I’m starting to feel far more confident behind the wheel. I still have to figure out the whole permit situation, but I’m way less worried than I was yesterday or the day before. Actually, my mood today has just been an improvement from the last few days in many ways. I went to my grandparent’s house and cleaned a little bit, and on the way home we stopped at Barnes & Noble to add a few drama books to my collection (see full collection below, minus my giant Shakespeare anthology, because it’s heavy). I’m especially excited about the book of children’s play, but the one with a bunch of new works is great for when I start seriously looking for something to do for my Irene Ryan audition in February.

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Thursday, July 18th - Today my mom and I went to Mendocino, CA for a the day. This was my fifth year visiting, but I think this trip was the best of them all. Mendocino is one of my favorite places in the entire world, and it was really nice to take some time and just sit on the cliffs for a little while. As it’s gone on, this month has improved. I’ve seen a couple friends (one from high school and one from college), which is always good for me to do. I also got an email from the counseling center I’m hoping to intern with about setting up an interview. Fingers crossed I have a new adventure to fill my time for the rest of the summer!

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Tuesday, July 23rd - Today was a very normal day. I drove to Target and back, which isn’t exactly normal but will hopefully become so with time. I FaceTimed Emma, wrote a little bit, drank blueberry tea (a new favorite), and watched murder mysteries. It was a good day, albeit a tad slow. I have an interview tomorrow for a really cool thing that I’ll *hopefully* get to do for the rest of the summer, and while I’m a little nervous I’m still feeling good about it. It’s one of those things that I know I’d be good at, and that I think I’m even qualified for. So we’ll see… now I am off to finish an episode of Blue Bloods along with a cup of tea, and then maybe go to sleep.

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Monday, July 29th - WHOO today was quite the day. I *finally* watched the movie version of A Wrinkle in Time (I’d refused to watch it when I playing Meg because I didn’t want my character interpretation to be influenced by Storm Reid’s), and boy oh boy do I have some thoughts. I literally took four pages of notes while watching it. In other news, I started my training for my summer volunteer thing today, and I’m really happy with what it’s turned out to be. I’m hoping to spend the end of my summer volunteering with the place I received counseling during my senior year of high school, and part of that includes 40 hours of training, 30 of which are classroom hours. So I have lectures, small group discussions, quizzes, tests, and homework. I’m actually really excited.

This is a very happy Claira who just got back from her first day of training and made herself some blueberry tea to celebrate.

This is a very happy Claira who just got back from her first day of training and made herself some blueberry tea to celebrate.

The One Where I Return to California: June 2019

Wednesday, June 05th- May was an exhausting month, which is why it’s taken me five days to start this monthly recap. I needed a break. With the end of the play, saying goodbye to Meg, and changing a myriad of things in my life right now, I’ve been pretty busy. Today started off pretty slow, with my normal early wake up call and a few hours in a bakery to get some studying done. As it progressed, however, more and more activities began to accumulate. I went to an open mic at the campus coffee shop and heard many talented musicians, and went to a band concert to hear another friend sing before realizing that one of my friends from high school was performing as well. After hearing him do his thing, Kiana and I hurried to the student film festival to see my roommate’s screening of her film. It’s been a rather crazy day, but I’m so thankful to have been surrounded by so much creativity.

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Tuesday, June 11th - Today was not a fun one. I had to say goodbye to some dear friends for the summer, and that’s never a good time. Still, I’m trying to remember the wise words of Winnie the Pooh, saying “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Sunday, June 23rd - Today I drew dragons with a three year old, held a sleeping newborn for the first time ever, and walked through the ocean for the first time in over a year (too long to go). Sometimes going back to where I grew up isn’t so bad.

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Tuesday, June 25th - I had forgotten how much of A Wrinkle in Time is spent referencing science and math. This trip to the Griffith Observatory became quite nostalgic for double the reasons. Of course, there was also the traditional twirl on the front lawn that quickly turned into an homage to the tesseract.

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The One Where I Say Goodbye to Meg: May 2019

Wednesday, May 01st - Happy May! Today I finally added my Hispanic emphasis to my Global Communications major (which is something I should have done about five weeks ago, but luckily this is one of those times that “better late than never” is true). While I was filling out the paperwork, I looked down at my backpack to discover a little ladybug that had hitched a ride to the CommLang department. I’ve heard ladybugs are a symbol of good luck, and here’s hoping this is a sign of good things to come in the next month.

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Thursday, May 02nd - Rehearsals for AWIT are still very much underway, and now that I’ve finally managed to get a handle on all the lines, they’re less of a point of stress for me. I was talking to a friend recently about how it seems as though the things I love most (Advanced Acting, A Wrinkle in Time, etc.) have become the biggest stressers in my life this quarter, and he said it’s probably because I care about them the most. Thinking about it in that way has helped me put a lot into perspective, hence making rehearsals a more freeing time. Our invited dress rehearsal is only a week away, and while I’m super excited to see the many family and friends that are coming, and I’m thrilled to share this story with everyone, the pressure is definitely on. Still, I have found beauty in an empty blackbox. No matter how busy, this space is still so meditative for me.

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Sunday, May 05th - Today was the first day of tech week!! Even though I’m sad this experience is almost over, seeing the show come together is so much fun. I spent all weekend working on homework for this week so I wouldn’t be too stressed out, and even though I felt myself begin to slip into dangerous levels of overdrive, rehearsals have pulled me out of it and reminded me of why I do what I do. Today was a good day, filled with lovely people, and I’m so excited to see what the rest of this week has in store.

Enter Meg….

Enter Meg….

Wednesday, May 08th - Somehow I always manage to get sick over tech week, and this time it has hit harder than others. Last night was definitely a late one, and if tonight goes like all the others this week, I won’t get to sleep until around 1:00 AM. This morning a dear friend brought me coffee as I went to my 9:00 AM class, and on the cup she wrote encouraging messages. I’ve been thinking lately about how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends. They are intelligent, creative, talented, funny, kind, beautiful, and up lifting. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I’m so thankful that I did.

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Thursday, May 09th - Today was the dress rehearsal for A Wrinkle in Time! This whole process has flown by, and now that we only have performances left it seems I’m in a constant state of bittersweetness. Unfortunately, my cold made it’s way to my nose and my voice, and I definitely struggled with articulation throughout. Luckily, however, I have dear friends who bring ginger tea and I have cold medicine that I’m not allergic to. Now to sleep this off as much as possible before our first official show on Saturday!

Me and Emily backstage before places were called, ginger tea in hand.

Me and Emily backstage before places were called, ginger tea in hand.

Saturday, May 11th - Tonight was opening night!! I cannot possibly say enough good things about how it went. There were people I love onstage with me and sitting in the audience. There were nerves, laughter, tears, and so much love I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. I’m so happy this was only the beginning of performances, and I can’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow.

Me and Kiana right before going backstage :-)

Me and Kiana right before going backstage :-)

The One Where It's Always Tech Week: April 2019

I’ve been doing “Books I’ve Read & Places I’ve Loved” since December of 2016. I loved doing that series, and I still love looking back on those posts. However, I’ve found that they no longer accurately depict how my months go, and as you may know I’ve been trying to be more honest and genuine with these blogs. With that said, here is the first installment of a new idea I’m trying out :-).

Monday, April 01st - Today officially marked the beginning of Spring Quarter, which meant new classes, a new schedule, and (finally!) new weather. This quarter I’m taking a class in communication and languages in a global society, a class on privilege and oppression, an advanced acting class (cue the happy tears when I officially got in!), and research writing (in order to take advanced acting, since it’s an upper division class). I went to all the classes today, and while I think research writing is going to be the bane of my existence for the next eleven weeks, I’m feeling very optimistic about where everything is headed. Today also marked the beginning of rehearsals for A Wrinkle in Time! I’m so exited to be back to days of rehearsals, line memorization, and bonding with a giant group of people.

A happy Claira on a happy day :-)

A happy Claira on a happy day :-)

Friday, April 05th - It’s finally Friday and I couldn’t be happier! It’s been such a wonderful week and it’s been really great to get back to friends and classes and play rehearsal, but it’s also going to be really nice to sleep in for a couple days. Today started out all beautiful and sunny, and slowly the clouds and rain crept in. My roommate wanted to get her haircut, so we walked to another friend’s house before the rain started and when we left it started sprinkling. We fed said friend’s horse and then drove back to school. The picture below was taken on the drive back to school when it had officially started raining. My little friend group (minus two) went to vespers and then had a mini game night later on. It was a typical Friday that served as the perfect end to a wonderful week.

A rainy drive back to school.

A rainy drive back to school.

Monday, April 08th - I am full on craving an AWIT rehearsal. One was supposed to happen tonight but it was canceled due to my director traveling back from a weekend film festival. So, I must be content with memorizing lines and getting the endorphins through using the dorm gym (a less fun way to keep my happiness levels up, but good for me nonetheless). It’s still raining today, and while it’s really pretty to look at from inside, my walk to Privilege and Oppression was anything but fun. I made the mistake of wearing a dress (I just really didn’t want to wear pants), and by the time I’d made it to the other end of campus the front of my dress was pretty soaked. But we live and we learn, and I have definitely learned to suck it up and wear pants on rainy days. I am now off to do some reading and some line memorizing, all while drinking a very good cup of coffee :-).

A smiley Claira with her afternoon cup of coffee.

A smiley Claira with her afternoon cup of coffee.

Tuesday, April 09th - Fall Quarter, I had so many bad mental health days I lost track. Winter Quarter was so much better and I only had a couple days where I didn’t feel my best. I was hoping Spring Quarter would be much of the same, but the last couple of days haven’t been the best. Today was a rough one, and I’m hoping tomorrow will be better but I’m not sure how to make that happen. I had a rehearsal tonight, and I think I’m suffering from a little bit of imposter syndrome. Here’s hoping I can figure that out and tomorrow’s rehearsal will go better.

A subpar picture of my (yup) coffee during my walk back from my class.

A subpar picture of my (yup) coffee during my walk back from my class.

Saturday, April 13th - Today was quite the day. I had a really relaxing morning (a rarity), and then spent the afternoon with a bunch of kids. I’ve worked with an organization that’s a bit like VBS (Vacation Bible School) since the beginning of Winter Quarter, but I never felt like I was bonding with the kids. That seemed to change a little today, and I’m very thankful for that. Afterward, I cleaned my room and started working on my homework at around 8:00 pm. Tomorrow is supposed to be a crazy day, so hopefully working on stuff earlier than usual will pay off.

Privilege & Oppression homework at 9:15 at night on a Saturday… this is the life I lead.

Privilege & Oppression homework at 9:15 at night on a Saturday… this is the life I lead.

Sunday, April 14th - Today I got to participate in a really cool project, and it was so much fun. A friend of mine is a senior and for her senior project she worked with some elementary students who wrote scripts, and then college drama students performed them. I was lucky enough to be one the actors, and the scripts were wonderfully whimsical, hilarious, and, of course, creative.

A cheesy face, NASA t-shirt, and wet hair (because a normal time to shower is a now a nonexistent thing in my world, so my hair is often wet at odd times of day).

A cheesy face, NASA t-shirt, and wet hair (because a normal time to shower is a now a nonexistent thing in my world, so my hair is often wet at odd times of day).

Wednesday, April 17th - This week feels like it will never end. Everything is still super exciting, but I’m definitely tired and ready for a couple days of more sleep. Today I had my acting class, and when it was over a bunch of us stayed behind to talk with our teacher about how to do theatre in the Adventist world. We talked about shame and how hard it is to make good art in a community that has a tendency to put aside hard progress and conversation. Talking with my teacher and my friends gave me a lot to think about. Today was definitely one of my favorites so far.

A random black and white selfie (and the drawing on my wrist is a subpar depiction of what a tesserat would look like…)

A random black and white selfie (and the drawing on my wrist is a subpar depiction of what a tesserat would look like…)

Saturday, April 20th - After the conversation with our acting teacher on Wednesday, one of my friends asked if I wanted to find a mountain to go sit and process our thoughts on Saturday. I said yes, of course, and found myself waking up at 8:00 on a Saturday to drive to Oregon and sit on a stump to think about my future in the Adventist church. I still have loads to think about and figure out, but right now I am trying to reconcile my idea of God with my idea of church and how I don’t think I need church but I know I need God and spirituality to be part of my life. Combining my need for spirituality and my need for theatre is what I’m trying to figure out next.

I took this while sitting on a tree stump with my raincoat pulled around me as raindrops fell down from the trees above me.

I took this while sitting on a tree stump with my raincoat pulled around me as raindrops fell down from the trees above me.

Wednesday, April 24th - I have no words for today, so I will take some from Meg: “You are my darling, and my dear, and the light of my life, and the treasure of my heart. I love you, I love you, I love you.” (Meg, to Charles Wallace).

Friday, April 26th - I spent a lot of time outside today. After four hours in the sun, I’m pretty sure my shoulders will be a bit pink tomorrow, but the time was still needed. I went on a walk with a good friend, and we talked about many of the events of this week. It’s been so long, and parts of it have been so hard. It’s been one of those weeks that makes you think about how you’ll put it in your memoir in thirty years and what you’ll have to say about it then. Still, I am thankful for neighborhood walks with good people, and tea, and swing sets, and sunsets.

I took this on my walk to vespers. It’s been really nice having the sun go down later, especially because it means I can walk through the sunset.

I took this on my walk to vespers. It’s been really nice having the sun go down later, especially because it means I can walk through the sunset.

Sunday, April 28th - Today was one of those weird days that is constantly making you wonder if it’s a good day or a bad one. There were many good things, such as breakfast and dinner with lovely friends, a trip to an empty parking lot where one of my friends let me drive her car (in preparation for when I’ll have to take my driving test this summer), and the realization that I know more lines than I thought I did. But it was also filled with procrastination, a weird AWIT rehearsal where I didn’t feel like anything was clicking, and a consistent dread of the upcoming Monday. I have decided, however, to go to sleep only focusing on the good. I have so, so much to be thankful for right now, even if some moments leave me feeling unbalanced.

I had a few moments in an empty blackbox, which is one of my favorite things :-)

I had a few moments in an empty blackbox, which is one of my favorite things :-)

Well… that was quite the month. It was messy and beautiful and heartbreaking and uplifting all at the same time, and the end is leaving me with a bad mental health day and an unsettled spirit. I hope this month was good to all of you, and I hope that if it wasn’t, May is much better. Here’s to the next 31 days, I really hope they are consistently wonderful.

Books I've Read & Places I've Loved: February 2019

Hello! I’ve said before that February isn’t really my favorite month of the year, and often I spend the 28 days counting down until March. This year, however, was completely different. I had a wonderful month, but unfortunately I have no books and very few pictures to show for it. Still, with that said, here is a small peek into what my month was like.


Like I mentioned earlier, I did not read anything this month I don’t know if it was because I was so busy, or because I was so happy, or perhaps a combination of the two. Winter quarter has been incredibly busy, and it has been hard to find time to read for fun. I do have a few books I want to dive into, though, so here’s hoping for a book-filled March!


KCACTF- Eugene, Oregon
As a drama minor, I had the opportunity to go to a theatre festival called KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival). While there, I attended workshops and panels, and spent an entire week learning more about the thing I love so much. I took a lot of workshops on directing and diversity in theatre, and came away with pages and pages and pages of notes. I learned so much, and I hope this wasn’t the last time I get to attend a conference like this.

My time in Oregon was also a wonderful bonding experience for me and friends I haven’t seen much this quarter. Although we are all drama minors, we don’t see each other all the time anymore now that we don’t have an acting class together. We’re all in the winter show festival, but we’re all in different plays so we still manage to miss each other. This week was the perfect chance to catch each other up on how winter quarter has been going, and to offer love and support to each other (which is something we do best!).

As mentioned in the introduction, I had an amazing February, and I am honestly quite sad to see it go. Still, March is looking to be wonderful as well. If this month has not treated you kindly, I hope March turns things around. Here’s to a beautiful beginning of spring (hopefully. There’s still a horrible amount of snow on the ground in Washington)! <3