Detox Tea Talk: December 2018

When you read this I will be on Christmas Break, the stress of finals and the end of Fall Quarter fully behind me. I will be three days deep in candy canes, Christmas lights, and countless covers of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Unfortunately for me, as of writing this I am two weeks deep in study sheets, essay drafts, and dried up highlighters due to all my note taking. Nevertheless, I am trying my best to keep the Christmas spirit alive. Part of that includes loads of reflection, especially on my college experience thus far.

Earlier this month I went to church for the first time in a little while. As we were singing I was reminded of my first couple of weeks here. Everywhere I went I was bombarded with new things I didn’t yet understand. A new state with new weather, new people with new stories, and new classes and new teachers with new expectations. Still, no matter how overwhelmed I felt I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to be here. On that first weekend, when my mom and I walked around the campus for the first time (because the first time I saw my university was when I arrived to unpack), she stopped and said that I was supposed to be here and it would be a good place for me. I believed her, and over the course of Fall Quarter those words continued to ring loudly in my ears.

As the quarter progressed, a lot of things happened that made me wonder if maybe this or that was the reason I was supposed to be here. Maybe I was meant to meet a particular person, or maybe I needed a certain class or teacher to help me grow in ways I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Perhaps I got the job I had because I needed to learn… something. Or even still maybe I needed to be here so I could see how good another school would be if I switched. Of all these ideas, I tended to latch onto the people the most. One person in particular made me wonder if perhaps I needed to be here simply so I could meet him.

On this blog I have never explicitly talked about the more, for lack of a better word, romantic side of my life, and I don’t plan to now. That’s what my poetry is for. But the month of November was certainly an… interesting one for me. I was getting to know someone and things seemed to be going well. We talked a lot, and I was really happy. Unfortunately, with that came me wondering if I was here simply so this could happen.

Boy oh boy was I wrong.

To make a short story even shorter, I am not here simply so that could happen. What I have come to realize is there is not going to be a single reason why I am supposed to be here. Maybe I did need to meet that person, but maybe I also need my acting class. Maybe I need my job, but maybe I also need my Saturday evenings of swing dancing. There is not a doubt in my mind that I am where I am supposed to be. I may not know exactly why that is quite yet, but I know it’s true,

~ Claira


“There’s no where you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.” ~ John Lennon

Detox Tea Talk: September 2018

As I write this, I am sitting in my grandparent’s living room, watching a murder mystery, with my grandmother next to me. It’s a Thursday, I just posted my piece on my trip to France, and tomorrow my mom and I start the drive up to college. This has been a crazy, insane, somewhat intense week, and it’s been a lot to process. This week I’ve cried more than I like (and I know there will be plenty more tears tomorrow when I say goodbye to my grandparents, little brother, and dog), talked on the phone more than I like, and ridden many, many miles on my stationary bike in order to keep my anxiety levels fairly low.

This week there have been definite highs and definite lows. I may be moving into my dorm room on Sunday, but there is still so much left up in the air, and if you’ve read this blog even a little bit, you’ll know that I hate feeling out of control. But this week has forced me into a place of accepting the things I can’t control, and learning to work hard on the things that I can.

I write this the day before I leave for college, and that’s a scary thought. Ever since I was twelve years old I’ve been waiting for this moment to arrive. I’ve dreamt about, worked towards, and planned for the year that is about to start in only a few days, and it feels very strange that it really is that close. My reality is about to change, and by the time you’re reading this it will already have. A lot of my time is spent thinking about self improvement, and whenever I have a major life change, I tend to focus on it even more. Hence, I’m trying really hard not to only pay attention to the things I have no control over.

It’s hard, though. It’s hard to get rid of the voice in your head that says you need to control everything, but I’m working on it. So, I’m checking things off my to-do list and trying to ground myself in reality as much as possible. And I’m trying to remember all the reasons why I’m excited about starting college. Like I said, I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I was twelve. Many different colleges have been at the top of my list, and many different majors have been considered. Many different things have been up in the air, and there has always been a fear of the unknown. But tomorrow I get to pack up and walk straight into the unknown. Here’s hoping the bravery sticks around,

~ Claira

This chai was absolutely delicious, even if I actually took this picture yesterday :-)

This chai was absolutely delicious, even if I actually took this picture yesterday :-)

“Step boldly, step bravely into the unknown, the untold. Open your heart and your arms to what may be, what could be, what will be.” ~ The Unknown by Erin Williams

Detox Tea Talk: August 2018

Last month, I took a much needed break from writing. I only posted four times in July, and instead of forcing myself to complete four more pieces, I focused on theatre and traveling instead. I never thought I'd want to take a break from this website, but I guess after over a year and a half things can change. I've never been very good at knowing when I need a break, but after starting a bunch of new pieces and not being able to finish them, I knew that I needed to take a step back. 

When I say I took a break from writing, I mean I took a complete break from writing. I didn't write poetry, I didn't write in my journals, and, as you know by now, I didn't write for this blog. I've always been a writer, and finding myself struggling to put words to paper (or screen) was really strange. It can be weird to take a break from the thing that defined you for so long. But I think that's one of the reasons the break was so good for me. 

For the last two years, writing became the thing that I was known for. I was known for being the poet, the one with the blog, and the one who read a lot. There was nothing wrong with this. Actually, I loved being known for these things, because I'm proud of it. I like that I write poetry and read a lot and have a website that I built myself. But my love of traveling and especially my love of theatre were kind of pushed to the back burner. When I took that break, I got to travel (obviously. France was great, and so was Luxembourg), and I got to focus on my internship with the theatre instead of writing a bunch of posts in advance for the rest of the summer. 

Writing is hard. It requires you to be vulnerable and open to criticism. Writing can help you deal with emotions, but sometimes it requires you to talk about past emotions with causes you to experience those feelings all over again. Writing can be emotionally draining. But writing is also what I love to do. It gives my mind space to wander and my soul space to breathe. Even so, writing isn't the only thing that does those things. Traveling let's my imagination run in a thousand different directions. Being involved in theatre makes me alive in a way nothing else does. So yeah, I took a break. 

But now I'm back, and have been for a while. I have posts ready for the rest of the year so I can still keep up with everything when I start college and start filling my time with more things that I love. Taking that break reminded me why I love writing, but it also reminded me that in order to write you have to take time to live. Until next time, 

~ Claira 

Iced tea this time, with a murder mystery as a bonus. 

Iced tea this time, with a murder mystery as a bonus. 

Detox Tea Talk: June 2018

For whatever reason, this has been the hardest thing to write this month. I'm not sure why, but it's the Thursday before this goes live and I haven't started it yet. I've said this before, but usually the things I post are written two weeks to a full month in advance. These are different, of course, because they are stream of consciousness and I write them the month of, but still. Having something for this blog not be finished until the week of is very rare for me. 

This month has been... interesting so far to say the least. Last year, this month was the hardest by far. The year before, July was the hardest. Call me crazy, but I'm starting to worry that August 2018 is going to be a rough month. This month has been okay, though, which is good. If you remember, Books I've Read & Places I've Loved: June 2017 had one place I loved and no books I read, which made me feel awful and honesty quite helpless. Reading is something that makes me feel like myself, and when I don't do it I'm not sure what box to put myself in. I don't think any of us really do fit in boxes, but sometimes it comforts me to know that I have a category I can call my own when everything else is so up in the air. 

Like I said, this month has been interesting. I graduated on the 3rd, started an internship at a theatre on the 9th, and my anxiety started to return in full force on the 20th. I think the news has really gotten to me this month. My anxiety and mental health in general always suffer more when the news gets worse, and I don't think that's only true for myself. I've felt helpless this month, and that's not a good feeling for anyone. So I've been trying to find ways to get myself out of my shell. 

I've been journaling a lot, but sometimes that keeps me in my own head too much. Working with the theatre is good, but I'm getting less sleep because of it and that's not great for me, either. This month has felt like a small adjustment as I prepare for the big adjustment- college. After graduation, I fell into a sort of void. The last two months were spent with musical performances, music tour, robotic babies, and finals, and I used up all my energy and emotion on getting everything done before graduation. Now that I'm finished with everything, I find myself struggling to fill my time with good, productive things. The internship is good, but it's only a small part of my summer. I find myself sinking further into the hole of Netflix and Youtube without giving myself an escape. Hopefully I can figure this out by next month, 

~ Claira 

Detox Tea Talk: May 2018

This month has a weird one. As of today, I have twelve days until graduation, and let me tell you the number twelve has never seemed sweeter. Even so, the waves of nostalgia haven't hit yet. This month has been one that has left me almost numb to all my emotions. I've been so busy with getting all my school work done before my senior class trip that I haven't let myself get nostalgic or sad. 

I was talking to my therapist on Thursday (as I have done almost every Thursday since February), and she said that getting all my work done as quickly as possible may be my own form of self-care. Getting everything done earlier means I won't be stressed about it later, and I really don't want to be stressed about all of this once finals week hits. I finished all my math for the year on Thursday as well, and that was a huge weight that was finally lifted off my shoulders. This year, and this month in particular, has been filled with more stress than I was anticipating, and I'm really glad I only have twelve days left until it's all done. 

With that said, I am still sad to be leaving my class and others in grades below me when I leave. It's a weird feeling to look around your class during Economics or Religion and think Wow, I won't be seeing 98% of you every day next year. I'll see Annaliese every day since I'll be living with her, but apart from her and one other, in twelve days I'll be saying goodbye to some of my favorite people. These are people who have made my life fuller and brighter, with more laughter and smiles than I thought possible. People who will be very hard to say goodbye to. 

But, even though I will miss them all, I'm still not feeling nostalgic or sad yet. I've been thinking that maybe those feelings won't show up until during the class trip, or maybe even until after I get back and finals week begins. Being such a nostalgic person most of the time, this feeling of numbness is very strange, and I don't like it. Whenever I feel like the feelings are going to rush in and I sense tears coming to my eyes, they disappear almost as soon as I notice them. It's like my mind just isn't ready to be sad yet, and while normally I'd say that's a good thing, right now it's just weird. I guess we'll just have to wait and see when my strong emotions return,

~ Claira 

Detox Tea Talk: April 2018

Even though these posts are stream of consciousness, I still like having something that I want to say. I've spent most of my morning trying to think of something to write about, and it finally dawned on me as I got up from my desk at school to get some water. It's been raining for most of today, and the air smells crisp and cool, which I like. Tomorrow it's supposed to be partly cloudy and then the rest of the week it's supposed to be sunny and warm. I have a very odd relationship with the weather, and I'm ready for the warmer days to be more consistent. 

I grew up in an area that was 75º and sunny most of the time, so when I moved to the Bay Area for high school, I was thrown by the seasons that actually exist there. The clouds and rain dampened my mood, and when I was seventeen and had moved to an area with even more season-y seasons, I actually got specific light bulbs that would make my room look like it was sunny even when it was dark and rainy outside. 

I also really don't like wind. When I was around eleven my dad moved to a new place in, quite frankly, the middle of nowhere. Whenever it would be windy, you'd hear it echoing through the walls, and everything seemed far scarier than it actually was. That year of wind was enough to make me nervous around windy weather all the way to now. 

It's weird, because when I was in England and it was cloudy and rainy the whole time I was there, I wasn't unhappy or depressed. I was really, really happy the whole time, and I think it's because I was surrounded by people I love. The same goes for when I was in Portland with my mom last year. It was raining, but I wasn't unhappy. I was with my mom and we were on a coffee tour. There's no way I could possibly be unhappy!

I'm starting to think that I've been blaming the weather for a problem that really has to do with the fact that I'm a giant extrovert. I need to be around people. Yes, I love sunny days and I am happier when I can see the sun and smell air with a hint of flowers, but I think my need to be around those I love is bigger than my need for cloudless days. 

Anyway, that was my ramble about weather. I've finished this post while sitting in bed drinking chai, so tea was still involved. I like these posts because I don't feel the need to edit them too harshly since it really is a stream of consciousness situation. We'll return to this in May, and who knows what I'll end up writing about,

~ Claira 

Detox Tea Talk: March 2018

Stream of consciousness writing is somehow harder than writing a carefully thought out essay. I'm not sure why, because considering my many of years of journaling you'd think I'd be pretty good at this... but I digress, this is my second attempt at this whole thing, and I'm doing my best. I'm also going to try and write this whole thing in one sitting, which is very strange but I think it'll help this kind of post in particular flow a little bit better and hopefully make more sense.

But anyway, it's finally spring and I am very pleased.  While writing this (and also when it goes live) I am on spring break. Since I was in England last week, I'm okay with the fact that I'm not doing that much traveling this week.  I'm going to Los Angeles with my mom today, but I'll have to be back by 1:00 on Sunday for the big rehearsal for Pirates of Penzance. Speaking of said musical, it's coming around on me. At the beginning, I'd spent all my rehearsal time comparing it to Les Mis, but then I realized that you cannot compare Claude-Michael Schöneberg with Gilbert & Sullivan. You just can't. I love that there's more choreography this year, and while the musical itself definitely isn't my favorite, I have to admit that there are scenes I find very funny. 

Back to talking about spring, I am very, very happy that my favorite season has finally returned. Sure, it's still cold and rainy 85% of the time, but that'll pass soon enough. I can already tell that my mood has changed since the month of March began, and my happiness levels have been consistently high for the last 20 days (I'm writing this on Tuesday). I've been spending a lot of my time with other people, and think that is contributing to higher levels of happiness. The rest of this month is going to be fairly insane. I go to LA, and then as soon as I return it's all musical, musical, musical until April 9th, the day after the final performance. (I just realized that I must have the musical on my mind right now, because even though I'm trying to talk about other things I keep going back to it.)

Right now I'm sitting at my desk, tea to my right and my dry-erase calendar in front of me. I have a candle that I've had for years burning on my dresser, and there is a slight sprinkling of rain outside my window. I'm listening to Ingrid Michelson and I'm feeling very content. I'd say that happy and content are the two emotions I've been feeling the most lately. While driving back from a class vespers-not-vespers on Friday, I was in the backseat with two of my friends up front. We were listening to acoustic versions of some of our favorite songs, and as I looked out the window I couldn't help but feel very content. While in England, I felt unexplainable feelings of happiness when I was with my cousins. March has been a really, really good month. I'm very thankful for everything that has taken place so far, and I really hope that these feelings continue into the month of April. Until next time,

~ Claira 

"There's no happier person than a truly thankful, content person." ~ Joyce Meyer. 

Peppermint tea this month (a little lukewarm, but not bad). And, of course, I'm using this  The Little Prince  mug that I use all the time. 

Peppermint tea this month (a little lukewarm, but not bad). And, of course, I'm using this The Little Prince mug that I use all the time. 

Detox Tea Talk: February 2018

A detox tea is a tea that, you know, detoxifies. A tea talk is normally a video where the speaker discusses whatever is on their mind. This is a detox tea talk, where I talk about what's been on my mind lately and try to sort it all together.  This may or may not be a monthly thing. We'll see. 

February is one of those months that never seems to fit with the others for me. There are good things, like my brother's birthday, but most of the time I spend the 28 (or 29) days waiting impatiently for March to roll around. This month has been pretty similar so far, with most of my attention being put on essays, classes, and the few birthdays that happened in my family and at school. 

Right now I'm sitting in my school's gazebo, sipping tea that I bought from the senior snack room. There's something about this gazebo that I've always loved, even from the first time I set foot on this campus. I could listen to music, but right now there are birds and cars driving by, and I really like the sounds that are already provided. This gazebo has been the place I go to when I don't have anywhere else to be. I spent the first semester of my junior year in here, reading, eating lunch, and trying my hardest to let people know that I was here, wanting to be friends with any and all of you. When I think of my school, I think of the gazebo. I actually wrote a poem about it a while back, but I'm not sure what I'll do with it, yet. 

Anyways, this week has been a weird one. I watched a couple basketball games, wrote many essays, and generally went through the week waiting for the long weekend that's coming up in a few hours (I'm writing this on a Friday). 

Writing this has been strange. Since it's very stream of consiousness, if I put it down and then go back to it, I'm in a completely different headspace than I was originally. In case you were wondering, I never write these posts in one sitting. Usually it takes about a week, though occasionally it'll take as little time as 45 minutes or as much as two and a half weeks. I also usually write all the posts a couple weeks in advance, sometimes even an entire month. To give you an idea, I have two posts for next month that are totally finished and edited, but this goes up tomorrow and I'm still typing on my floor while waiting for laundry to be done. 

But back to where this whole thing started, this month has been a mixture of a happy moments and monotony, which isn't always a bad thing but right now I'm craving spontenaity. I have from March to the middle of July pretty figured out, and every one of those months includes trips (school and otherwise), really good people, and memories that I can't wait to make. Right now I'm trying to find ways to enjoy the rest of February, all eleven days that are left. Talk to you then,

~ Claira