“I’M NOT A PEZMIST, I’M AN OPTOMETRIST”

So,

It’s the last weekend before I go back to school for the year. Kids come back on the 10th, my birthday. Now it’s Saturday morning. I’m watching Orange is the New Black and thinking about what an incredible summer this has been.  Granted, while I will be working, I do still have a month left of summer (and my birthday) so it could get even better (and I kinda don’t have reason to believe it won’t). It’s been so much fun! I went to Poland BY MYSELF and saw family and was sociable and met new people and spoke Polish and explored. I’ve tried and done new things that Agnes of yore never would have thought she’d do in a million years. I got to spend lots of time with friends doing all sorts of fun stuff.  I met a boy I like.

In the past couple of years, I’ve gone from a closed-off, super shy person who didn’t share to somebody who is open and, while still shy and introverted, more likely to initiate interactions with others and also more likely to overshare. Heh. Feelings are still not easy to talk about, but I’m working on it. One of the people I met on one of the walking tours I went on in Warsaw and then hung out with called me bubbly. Me! That made me laugh.

I recently read a short piece of writing titled, “I’ve never had a goal.”  In the past few years, I’ve switched into this mode and it’s been great.

Anyway, I could blab on and on, but I have to get ready to head out for lady brunch!

IMG_20160721_221436627

Advertisements

You’re trying to seem mysterious, The covers pulled over your head

So,

My time in Warsaw is slowly coming to an end and I’m getting sad. I got to spend two fantastic weekends with relatives about 70 kilometers west of Warsaw. For somebody who is not used to having any extended family, it was really nice. I feel like my aunt and uncle know me better than my dad does. So I had to say bye to all the family today and it was not easy.  Plus, I’m a cry-baby anyway. What makes it extra hard is at I won’t know when I’like see them again. But, I will work on my Polish.  I need to improve my grammar and build up my vocabulary.

In some ways, my life this past week and a half has been pretty similar to Chicago life, well Chicago summer life.  Wandering. Seeing cool stuff. Cocktails and restaurants. Lots of walking.  I’ve discovered that I’m braver than I give myself credit for and I really need to quit underestimating myself! But even better, was exploring a part of me that I don’t embrace as much as I should.  Wandering around cobblestone streets. Staring at bullet holes in buildings. Learning about the history here.  Talking to my relatives about my mom.  Seeing places where hundreds of people were killed. Where people gave up their lives. Ghetto wall markers.  Being in the city during the week and then a weekend escape to a small, quite place where I got to skip around empty fields and pick blueberries off of bushes.

If I was in a different line of work, it’d be easier to live here.  Accenture, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, and a whole bunch of other places have offices here. But I am going to start looking into a possible big life change summer 2017.  I’ve done this before and nothing happened, so who knows. 

Lots of rambling. Sorry. 

This was a cool painting I saw today. After I got back to Warsaw and my cry face cleared up, I went to the national gallery. And then went on a Warsaw Crime tour.

Bo moja Warszawa, to moje podwórko i wróbel kolega wesoły, Niedzielne spotkanie w Łazienkach z wiewiórką i droga codzienna do szkoły.

So,

My mom used to sing to me ALL the time even though she was kind of tone deaf. The title of this post is from a song she sang to me. It’s a kids song about Warsaw.

I originally thought I’d get kind of lonely here, spending so much time alone during the week.  But, that has not been the case! On Tuesday evening, I made a friend on a tour that I went on and we hung out after the tour until pretty late.  Got food at a milk bar, went to a regular bar, then got Bahn mi (really tasty). He was originally from India, but had spent the past several years working in Australia as in the middle of taking 6 months off to travel all over. He told me Iran was his favorite place so far and about how nice the people there were and how beautiful it was there.  Then the following two nights I spent with a friend I made via…Tinder. Ha. I downloaded it Sunday night and wrote exactly what the situation was-looking for a friend to show me around and get a drink with.  And I made a new friend that I hung out with Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  I had one of the tastiest cocktails I’ve had ever last night with mezcal, peach liquor, and other stuff. The glass was served in a coconut and there was water poured onto liquid nitrogen in the area between the glass and the coconut, which was a neat effect.  Went to a shot bar (can’t believe we don’t have these in Chicago). Got the best ice cream in the city.  People in Warsaw LOVE ice cream. They eat it alllll the time. Had really good vegan sushi (for serious) and wandered around. Now I have a Polish friend.

During the day yesterday I went to Lazienki park and the Palace on the Isle that’s there, as well as the “white building” and a botanical garden. I love taking photos of chandeliers, and there were LOTS of chandeliers to take photos of.  I also got to see one of the red squirrels.  They are much cuter than gray American ones. I went to Pole Mokotowe, which my dad told me he used to go to.  It’s a big park.  There used to be a pool there that he went to, but now it’s all run down, closed off, and covered with graffiti. I also went to a shopping mall and got some stuff. Don’t know how it will fit in my suitcase.  Heh.  

After every trip to Poland, I always want to move here or closer to here. Last time, I started researching Moving to and working in London. With an EU passport, that would have been not too bad back then. Plus, switching over certification is each (just expensive) and I have a couple of contacts there. NOW things are a little different because of teletherapy. I could totally do that from Warsaw. Granted, the time difference would make it so that I worked afternoons and evenings, but that’s okay. You make less money doing teletherapy, but stuff here is cheaper, so that’d be fine. I’d be near relatives. Plus, while doing that I could work on improving my Polish and then doing speech therapy here. Sounds like a plan, no? We shall see.

One may think what one thinks.

So,

Today was a fun adventure day.  I finally slept through the night!  Got a cookie flavored mocha at a local coffee chain.  It was delicious.  Had a lazy morning drinking coffee and reading.  Then I went on a walking tour of Warsaw called Warsaw at War, where I learned a lot about what went on during World War II.  85% of Warsaw was destroyed. Some of the buildings that use some of the leftover parts have billet holes in the walls. Like this place.  It is almost across the street from where I’m staying. It was once a bank. Now it is an event space. It is cool to see the original part of the building and the new parts that they added.  And the bullet holes, of course.


In the afternoon I went on a Communism in Warsaw tour. That was cool too.  Went to a different part of Warsaw that I haven’t spent much time in yet.  


On the tour I made a friend and we hung out afterwards. Went to a milk bar. Walked around more. Got a beer at a neat patio bar.  There are so many restaurants and bars with patio seating. SO MANY. Then we walked more and went to an Asian fusion restaurant where I got tasty bahn mi. Then it was late and I went back home. I haven’t traveled much but today I felt that travel bug that people get.  I have a week of fall break in October and I plan on using that to go somewhere cool and new.  Budapest? Who is coming with me?

Wandering after the tours, I came across this building, which was compared to Hogwarts, with all its staircases. I couldn’t take enough photos.

Being alone it can be quite romantic, like Jacques Cousteau underneath the Atlantic

So,

Today I was on my feet from about 10:30 until 5:30. Lots of walking. I’m pooped out. For serious.  Since I last posted I went out to the country and spent time with my relatives. I visited my mom’s grave. Cried a little. Ate blueberries as I picked them from bushes. And also apples and red currants. Ate A LOT of food.  Like so much food.  And drank coffee and tea.  So much caffeine.  I wandered around the University of Warsaw, which also happens to have a giant garden atop its library.



I went on a tour of “Alternative Warsaw,” aka the Praga district east of the river. After the tour I wandered around the shopping mall there and bought a really cool purse. And then I went to the Life Under Communism Museum, which was neat. The ticket was in the form of a ration card. It was interesting. Obviously there isn’t a whole lot I remember from Poland in the second half of the 80s, since I was so young. But some things, including books and toys, were familiar. Here’s your typical apartment from back then:


Tomorrow I learn more about war and communism and I’ll be a little further south in the city than I’ve been. Woohoo!

I wouldn’t of got the lettuce if I knew it wouldn’t fit.

So,

I’m feeling good, even though I’ve had very little sleep.  My flight left ORD at 5 pm and got to Poland at 9 am. I slept for a grand total of 7 minutes on the plane. Watched 3 movies (2 Polish movies and also The Lobster). Crushed candies. I took a bus and metro to get to the the Airbnb I’m staying at. Only got lost coming out of the metro station. The host was super nice and made me a cup of tea.  It was cloudy and 58 degrees in the morning! Then I took care of money stuff and wandered around. Checked out some stores.   Napped for two hours. Then went on a two hour walking tour of the Old Town. The tour guide was fantastic! Saw lots of cool stuff. Then after the two hours, I did the same walk, again, to take photos of all the stuff I didn’t have time for or the right angle for during the tour. Then I checked out the church my parents got married in and lit a candle for my mom. The church has a terrace you could go up to for a total of 5 zlotych ($1.25). It was lovely. Then I kept walking. Got dinner. And now I’m pooped out. I’m watching a movie with Kristen Bell in it. The funny thing about how things are dubbed in Polish is that it’s just one person translating everything. So no matter what character is speaking, the dubbing is always in then same voice. Another thing I noticed is that there are A LOT of dogs that go off leash in the city.  And I never know why bathroom lights here are outside rather than inside the bathroom. 

I’ve gotten compliments on my dress here too! And it isn’t only creepy guys who randomly say hi to my on the street. 

There is a sea and I am a captain of something unknown, waves high as mountains.

So,

I leave tomorrow! The only two places I’ve ever traveled alone to have been New York City and Chicago. So this is a big one.  My laundry is done. Apartment is cleanish. Travel alerts set. I’ve gotten to see a lot of my friends in the past few days. It’s been great.  I took care of the majority of the anxiety inducing things I wrote about last time.  One left.

I had an eligibility meeting for summer assessment yesterday. That was one thing that was making me anxious. It was for the sister of two boys that I worked with this past school year. They all came and it was wonderful seeing the boys. They are so sweet.  I typically don’t consider myself a person who needs compliments or validation. I rarely got complimented for anything growing up. After my mom died, it took me a while to realize that I was smart and awesome and interesting and worth getting to know. And it’s only been in the past year or so that I’ve learned to sort of take compliments (they don’t make me uncomfortable like they used to). But it’s nice to hear that you’re being missed by kids who definitely have more fun stuff going on in their lives. Also, compliments from other sources that include “mind-blowing” in them are also nice. Heh.

I went to the Signature Lounge earlier this week with friends. It was fun. Love that place. This photo is not from Monday, but from the same place and cool.

Anyway. Later!

IMG_20150702_151307191_HDR.jpg

 

I heard there was a secret chord.

So,

My life is run by patterns.  The pattern controlling me at this moment: Whenever something gives me anxiety, I wake up between 1:30 and 2 and cannot go back to sleep.  Back in the day, when I worked in Skokie, this was a daily occurrence. BUT, I got out of that job and had done well with the no-sleep-because-of-anxiety thing until today. It’s something dumb too. Exacerbated by eating fast food TWICE yesterday.  I feel gross.  Why do I have to be so weird?

Anyway. Let’s focus on some good things to get my mind off the other stuff, shall we?  I picked up my tickets for the new Joffrey Nutcracker for opening night (December 10) and I’m super excited. My bridesmaid dress for my friend’s wedding arrives today.  I’m all caught up on Game of Thrones! I’ve been on summer vacation. I’ve been hanging out with a guy I like a lot. I tried something new that Agnes from three years ago would have never thought she’d do and I had a  blast. I’ve been spending a ton of time outside. I’ve been hanging out with friends. Street festivals. Trying out new places to eat.  Life is good, right?!? I need to quit being an anxious over-analyzer. This is what sucks about being observant and noticing the smallest things being out of place (both physically or in the way a person reacts/responds to you). Usually it doesn’t mean anything.  But when it has in the past, you’re overly cautious.  And then you seem crazy.  Which actually reminds me of this article.

I originally thought I wasn’t going to have any work meetings this week, but I do, which stinks.  It’s Humboldt Park for me tomorrow and then more errands before I leave town in a few days.

Sunrise is at 5:30. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to sleep soon and won’t be up for it…

This is a cool music video.

Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door.

So,

Yesterday DD watched 10 episodes of Game of Thrones with me. We didn’t even go outside on the Fourth of July. It was great. I’m half done with the most recent season, so should be all the way caught up shortly. Things are going well on that front. I don’t know where things will or won’t go, but I’m glad he’s in my life. As a late bloomer in the guy department, I don’t know how often or when people have connections like this.  As a self-admitted serial dater in between relationships, I went on lots of dates and met lots of dudes. I haven’t met anybody that I connect with this well across the board-there’s an emotional piece, an intellectual one (sorry if that sounds presumptuous), and the physical part. I’m excited to explore it more. I’m constantly pleasantly surprised, which is nice because I feel like I don’t let my guard down enough to let people surprise me. He is smart and cute and affectionate and talkative and I enjoy being around him. There is one negative. He introduced me to caffeine free cola.  I can now drink a 2 liter bottle of caffeine free coke in less than a day.

ANYWAY.

I bought two new dresses and a skirt today. The plan was to go to the liquor store farther south in Andersonville to see if they had any rogue/voodoo doughnut beer. But I got sidetracked. One of them had giant red buttons down the front. The other can be split into a crop top and skirt. And all are work appropriate. Also ran 3.5 miles at the gym today in 40 minutes. Felt good. Hip is holding up.

I have a client at the private practice tomorrow evening. Before that, I think I may go to Eva’s for a decaf latte and take myself to a movie.

I’ve been reading a book about Alexander von Humboldt. I had absolutely no idea how important he was as a naturalist. No idea how much he influenced Darwin.  And he has more things and places named after him around the world than anybody else.  He also invented isotherms and went on crazy adventures. He had lots of bromances with all sorts of fellas, including Goethe.

IMG_20160627_084525169.jpg