Growing Pains

I’m sure we all remember growing pains. Those random aches in our joints growing up, so subtle and brief, finally resulting one day in a doctor-deemed “growth spurt.”

I wish they were only physical pains.

The aches that come with the growth of your soul, your mind, your heart – they hit so much deeper. Sometimes they’re brief, and sometimes they last for months at a time. There was a period of my life spent in depression, and now, looking back, I wonder if it was more of a powerful stage of growing pains in my heart. I came out broken and bruised, maybe not everything grew right, but I had more heart, more love, more empathy afterwards. I wonder if the things we see as so bad, so “negative,” are not sometimes just waves of growth, pushing us further upward toward the soil and the sun.

This past year has been a good one. I’ve been surrounded by the company of my dear mother, new and old friends, a new place in a new city, and our ridiculous pets. I’ve acquired a job that I’ve wanted for a long time that constantly deals with my favorite addiction: coffee. We’ve had teas, had adventures, strolled through the arboretum, taken walks. I’ve discovered so many interesting, beautiful people, I’ve gained friends and realized that I may not be as entirely hopeless in getting a date as I thought. I’ve made progress in some areas, gained knowledge, and learned more about – everything. I’ve had my prejudices challenged and diminished towards the Ever Wealthy, seen playing fields leveled and seen grace in action.

This past year has also been difficult. City life, I’ve learned, may not entirely be for me (something I would have completely disagreed with a few years ago). This job may also not be for me (something I would have certainly completely disagreed with for the past 8 years). I’ve learned that outside of community I wilt, that a job always surrounded by swarms of people and 8-minute timers sucks my soul, and that I can become so twisted from the base of who I am outside of a steady relationship with God and other people who try to have the same. I’ve remembered why I quit restaurant work and yet couldn’t bring myself to go back to assistant jobs. I feel more lost than I did a year ago, so much less sure of myself, of my life, of anything. The people that I thought would be steady strongholds undermine my confidence, say the most degrading things, cut others down with their words and laugh about it later in a show of insecurity and spite. The people I was unsure of, but looked up to, have turned out to be the most steady, kind, and sometimes misunderstood of anyone I’ve met. I’ve learned that first impressions are absolutely not everything, in fact, they’re usually nothing. And I’ve learned how good it feels to be honest, hence this post.

So, here I am, writing again for the first time in a long time, in the midst of a growth spurt.

I’m broken again, bruised again, breathing again. I’ve spent time with God, I’m figuring out life, and a spark of hope has been reignited. And I may even call up that guy and ask for another date, snide comments be blast. It’s time to live again.


These Weeks!

The past two weeks have been an up and down and up again type of roller coaster.

I’m currently sitting in the living room, snow drifting down in the tiniest of flakes outside, eating a feast that I only have one shoddy phone picture of. Julie & Julia is playing and so of course that’s what prompted me to write. (Not to negate the valiant efforts of WordPress reminders, but there’s no better inspiration than a movie that combines cooking, blogging, and the sweet plot twists of life). Homework is completely – well maybe there’s a hint of denial in there – finished and out of the way. So that’s the current scene of my running life dialogue.


I’ve gone from not knowing how I’ll be employed to an instant and joyful reunion of happy acquaintances that resulted in nothing other than a job at Starbucks. Starbucks is my addiction, during years of depression my “happy place” (thanks to the kind-hearted baristas and freebies), and the most wonderful of companies to work for. It’s funny how God answers the prayers that we sometimes feel are too petty to pray. This coming Saturday I will be “out there” – truly behind the counter, serving countless people and learning the tips and tricks of how to make someone else’s day as much as other baristas have made mine. The excitement is extravagant.

I’ve been learning some wonderful things in my walk with God as well – more of the lovely purpose of being single right now, a new appreciation for old things, and realizing that a time of immense stretching and growing is about to begin, but that He’s right there with me. It’s grand. Not that I haven’t struggled! I have! By all means I have! But that’s what makes the contrast between Him and His way and the temptations and struggles all the sharper. The song “I can see clearly now…” comes to mind. ;)

Friendships are dearer, the extent of my own selfishness is being unveiled (another reason why I’m excited to get in on the daily giving side of the counter!), and every bit of anxiety has been refuted as God’s promises are blatantly revealed. (Which also makes it easier to kick creeping up anxieties in the face).

And that is all I feel compelled to jot down so I’ll stop here!

Thanks for reading, you lovely individual you! :)


A Supremely Relaxed 20-Something

Education & Edu-haze-ation

Today – a small rant on education and what I call edu-haze-ation.

Education is great. Edu-haze-ation is not.

Eduhazeation is a phenomenon where people that you are not close to suddenly decide that today will be the perfect day to interrogate and belittle every bit of your current (or lack of) educational/life plans.

You will be told in an underlying tone or in bold words just how very wrong you are, how you need to get it together, how you will not be making a difference in life (or anyone else’s) unless you do “x, y, z” in alphabetical order, and insinuate your imminent demise into the Great Abyss of Nothingness because of your terrible flaw of not having it all “together.”

If you have done this to someone, STOP IT. Seriously. Stop now. You are not helping, you are hurting. Ask yourself these questions before forcing your opinion on the next unsuspecting victim of your haughty disdain:

1. Do I know this person?

2. Do I genuinely care about this person, or is the first time I’ve ever “cared” about their life now that they’re disagreeing with me?

3. Am I being a hypocrite or speaking from experience?

4. Am I forcing my life, abilities (/lack of), and opportunities (/lack of) onto theirs?

We’ve all been through this I’m sure, and we can all do something to prevent this from happening again.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1

I’m not even close to perfect in this area, but if we all spoke out of love and not judgement the world would be a much grander place. That’s all.


Your Ranting 20-Something

Vegan Pancakes!

Vegan Pancakes!

Today has been a food hunting day.
Food hunting days occur when there seems to be nothing to eat in the house, and yet I know that with all these random ingredients there has to be.

And voila! to the rescue!
I highly recommend this for any and all pantry hunters, you get to add whatever ingredients you have onto a list, and as you add it pulls up recipes that coincide with those ingredients.

Grocery store trip/eating out = eliminated!

You can also put “restrictions” on so recipes you don’t want don’t pop up.
Ex: Gluten-free, Don’t eat meat, don’t eat fish, etc.

This website resulted in a food discovery treasure – vegan whole-wheat pancakes.

This was my not technically my first attempt at this perfectly simple recipe, (coconut whole wheat pancakes previously!), but its been about 1-2 years.

I put in a smidge too much salt by accident, but there’s plenty of these ingredients so I’m going to try another batch and see how it goes.

This original recipe is from, I made 1 or 2 modifications:


1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 tbsp sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Mix the dry ingredients well and set aside.
1½ cups soy milk (I used coconut milk instead)
2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbsp water (Didn’t have this)
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)


1. Mix together the wet ingredients and add to the dry. Mix gently until the dry ingredients are just moistened. There should be some lumps remaining in the batter.
2. Heat a nonstick or cast-iron griddle. Smear lightly with a few drops of canola oil. Pour about ¼ cup of the batter on the griddle and let it cook until bubbles appear at the top of the pancake and the underside is golden-brown. Flip over with a spatula and cook the other side until it is lightly browned.
3. Serve hot with a pat of vegan spread and maple syrup. (And I topped mine with either local Texas honey or homemade multi-berry jam from one of the neighbors)

It’s THAT simple!

(Devoured the third before picture could be taken)

Now of course these are not the healthiest thing ever, but they’re a nice treat every now and then 🙂 Definitely going to add cinnamon next time as well.

Ate some celery and a clementine to recover – ha!

Signing off for now,

Your friendly neighborhood 20-something

Resolution Week 1

Resolution Week 1

First off I’m usually awful at doing things like this, but this year it feels different. It feels – natural 🙂

When it comes to resolutions I tend to set massive, very specific goals that I easily fall short of within a few weeks. Thankfully this year has started out on the right note.

A simple “deciding of” rather than “resolving to” and “wanting to” taking place of “needing,” for some odd reason, has made it easier.

As far as I can be I want go vegetarian, eventually transitioning to vegan (while avoiding as much dairy, sugar, and gluten as possible).

My reason for this is mainly all the lovely benefits:
– healthier organs
– more energy
– maximum nutrients
– taste buds readjusting to experience full flavors in veggies/fruit
– enhanced immune system
– weight loss
on and on and on they go! 🙂
And major bonus: minimizing the risk for diseases that have sprung up in the lives of my amazing grandparents.

Living in Texas makes it a bit challenging, living in the city makes it a bit easier, living on a tight budget makes it financially smarter.

The most wonderful bit about it is that with God’s help I know I can do it.

Since I finished (for the first time beginning to end!) my favorite journal last year I’ll be using this as a sort of food diary to post when I can.

This week has consisted of:

– Apples
– Kale
– Carrots
– Limes

– Cucumber

– Hearty Vegetarian Chili w/ extra cilantro
– (on the transition day) Lean Turkey Black Bean Chili/Chili Blanco
– 3 slices cheese pizza (and 4-5 pepperonis – eek!)
– A chai cupcake (mega sugar and gluten gift haha)

– Banana, Coconut milk, and strawberry smoothie

Snacking On:
– Carrots

– Edamame Hummus

– Some Gluten-Free cracker-but-definitely-not-cracker thing from Trader Joe’s?

Drinking: Water, Peppermint, Green, and Chamomile Tea in place of usual coffee binge (slipped a Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Frap – another gift from a generous friend! Eeh!)

Honestly I feel pretty great. My body seems to be doing its detox thing already, and hopefully with the next paycheck I can buy more in-season fruit/veggies in bulk to keep costs down and veg/fruit meals in!

I’m also starting up classes again on Monday, which thankfully includes a (hopefully) fabulous nutrition course. So stoked.

That’s it for now! Have a happy weekend!


The friendly introvert 20-something

P.S. – Anyone know how to turn off the large one line spacing?

3 Phrases Christians Should Quit Relying On

This 🙂

Jayson D. Bradley

Sometime I cringe when I listen to Christians talk (myself included). Here are a couple phrases it wouldn’t hurt to hear less.

1. “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”

When someone’s going through a rough time, it’s a struggle to say the right thing. But it is always appropriate to say nothing. In fact, Scripture encourages people to “mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15) You cannot rub the salve of magic words on someone’s hurts to make their pain go away.

If you absolutely have to say something, make sure it isn’t philosophically empty, spiritual nonsense. Telling someone that “God never gives you more than you can handle” is wrong on many levels.

  • It’s not biblically accurate: You’re going to have a hard time finding this little gem in the Bible (or any similar sentiment for that matter). I am convinced that Scripture is  full of…

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Pass it by

There are so many things in life that have beautiful surprises, and even the worst of situations have a glimmer of hope.

However, there are some things that really should simply be passed by.

“Just say no” works too, but, some things are not even worth addressing.

Like diet drinks, artificial flavoring, bad coffee, and pointless gossip – why join in? Why give the unnecessary time and thought when there are so many other things to give time and thought to? JUST PASS IT BY! Image

(P.S. I am not the genius who made or owns this image) 😉

Oh! And by the way, whoever made this gem:


You’re brilliant, let’s have a healthy dose of fabulous conversation and good coffee sometime.