Detox Tea Talk: February 2019

Happy February! It feels like this year is going by so fast. I’ve been doing this little series for a year now, and even though I’ve missed a month here and there, I still enjoy doing a stream of conscienceless blog post every once in a while. Last February, I wrote that the month had always been a bit of a filler. I wrote that I never put much hope in it because nothing exciting usually happened. I wrote that I was craving spontaneity, and I was very ready for March to roll around.

This year, those words could not be further from the truth. March is my favorite month, so of course I’m still excited about it. And I’m also very ready for all the snow to melt and warmer days to return, but the 16 days I’ve spent in February so far have been amazing. Tomorrow morning, I will be in a car with four friends on our way to Oregon for something called KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival) where we will attend workshops and classes and spend an entire week learning more about theatre. When we return, we’ll be thrown into tech week for the winter quarter show, and then February will be over.

As the weeks of winter quarter swiftly pass me by, I find myself wanting to hold onto each day for as long as possible. Last quarter, I mentioned that I wasn’t feeling happy, but I was content. I was going through my classes and my little routines, and I wasn’t necessarily unhappy with it, I just wasn’t excited about life. Ever since returning to Washington after Christmas break, however, my life has been filled with so many beautiful things I almost don’t know what to do with it all. I had a temporary job in a theatre where I met amazing people (and got to sign my name on the wall!). I work with a lot of kids and have multiple circle times. I have play rehearsals, and Thursday dinners, and best friend conferences. I swim, and laugh, and talk every day. I am surrounded by creative, intelligent, and genuinely lovely people and I don’t think I could possibly be happier with my life right now. I wake up excited (and maybe a little tired!), and I go to bed happy (but definitely tired!).

Yes, I do have an off day every once in a while, but overall my mental health has been really good this month. The cloudy days haven’t affected my mood as much as they usually do, and ever since I started to prioritize my mental health everything else has gotten a lot better, too. This month has been a wonderful one, and when I start to think about it ending I definitely feel a little ache in my chest. Once February ends, I’ll go into performances of my play, and then I’ll be thrown into dead week, finals, and then spring break. March is looking like it will be another wonderful month, but once that’s over a happy period of my life will come to an end.

Going into winter quarter, I wasn’t expecting it to be extraordinary. If anything, I was expecting to struggle through some classes, audition for the play before working tech backstage, and spend a lot of time alone. Yeah, not the most optimistic. I’m trying to look ahead to a wonderful spring quarter, but I’m also holding on to the last few weeks of winter quarter. The past six weeks have been the best of college so far, and I would even go so far as to say they have been some of the best of my entire life. So thank you, February, for being a pocket of sunshine in my life. And thank you, dear reader, for sticking around while I’ve been out making memories that will inevitably become stories for you.

~ Claira

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Detox Tea Talk: January 2019

It’s been 2019 for only 24 days, and it already feels like so much has happened. I came back to Washington on the sixth, and had quite the flight back (but that’s a whole post in itself, so…). On my first full day back at school, I wound up moving to a different dorm. Later that week I auditioned for the drama department’s winter production, and got a few callbacks. I went to them and spent the Thursday night staring at my phone waiting for it to ring. Around 9:30 I got a call asking if I would take a part in the production. This began the craziness that has been January.

The next Monday, me and my new roommate got roped into working with a nearby theatre as dressers (I say “roped in” but really I said we’d do it without realizing how busy we both are). This week is tech week, which means we’ve both been going slightly insane for four days straight. It’s be great.

The Tuesday after agreeing to help with the nearby theatre, I got a call from my director saying the guy who had been cast in our two person play had backed out. I then spent the next week trying to find a new actor. Luckily, with the help of my roommate, someone was found. Rehearsals have not started yet, but here’s hoping it will be smooth sailing from here on out.

Since returning to school I have gone to my classes and gotten fairly used to them. I’ve read a lot of books for school and read no books for fun. I’ve run many miles, studied for lines backstage at work, and done my best to stay calm amidst the busyness that has become my year.

So far 2019 has been busy, but so far only a good busy. I’m working with a lot of people and a lot of theatre. I’m studying things I actually love, and I’m laughing more than I did at the end of 2018. I haven’t been writing as much because I’ve been living a little bit more. I’m still not very good at finding the balance between writing and living, because I do tend to live in my head a lot. I hope you’ll accept this haphazard post as a mini life update. I’m happy, I’m laughing, and I’m busy. Life is really, really good right now.

~ Claira

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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

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“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.