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Existential Turtle Time

A collection of adventures, reviews, and contemplation

Birthday Musings: Turning 21

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There’s a certain calmness to this birthday that I didn’t expect. Maybe it’s because I’ve officially earned my last privilege of age: with sixteen, it was driving; seventeen, watching R-rated movies; eighteen, voting; and now, twenty-one, drinking. It seems like the only age milestones left end in zeros. Continue reading “Birthday Musings: Turning 21”

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On Men Who Disempower Women

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I’ve had some experience with men who diminish women, who disrespect women, who disempower women. It’s disgusting, and the only thing worse than thwarting the efforts of a man trying to disempower me is watching him do the same to other women I respect. It’s worse because I often don’t do anything, out of fear.

That’s the problem with men who disempower women—they create an atmosphere of self-doubt and helplessness.  Continue reading “On Men Who Disempower Women”

“Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” by Michael Pollan

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I really love this book. It’s a quick read, concise, and completely free of intimidating (and often exclusive) nutritional jargon. Michael Pollan breaks down his extensive research in nutritional science into a simple, seven-word conclusion that he bases the “food rules” off of: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Continue reading ““Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” by Michael Pollan”

Bucket List Item #5d: Run a Half Marathon

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12 weeks of training and over 100 practice miles later, I ran my first half marathon on April 8th. Training for this race was such a life-changing experience. It taught me to believe in my body and, even more so, to cultivate my mental fortitude and stand behind my goals.  Continue reading “Bucket List Item #5d: Run a Half Marathon”

My Appointment with a Nutritionist

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As you could probably tell from some of my older posts, my relationship with food and my body hasn’t always been the most healthy. In college, I’ve reached both my heaviest and lightest weights ever at my height. Last semester was especially stressful and work-heavy, and without realizing it, there were multiple occasions in which I’d just forgotten to eat. Continue reading “My Appointment with a Nutritionist”

Half Marathon Training

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Another day, another run!

For the past nine weeks, I’ve been training for a half marathon! Despite it being on my bucket list, I decided to run one on a whim after seeing this training program pop up on my Pinterest feed. The race is April 7th, and I seriously cannot wait!

Running is, hands down, the best habit I’ve picked up in 2018. Cardio was not my strong suit beforehand, but the past 2 months of training have taught me that it didn’t need to be. No matter your skill level, the most important thing is just that you startContinue reading “Half Marathon Training”

My Favorite Vines

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Towards the end of last semester, I became addicted to watching Vine compilations on Youtube. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check a few of them out—they’re so funny! Typically I tend to not watch videos that last more than 5 minutes, but even when I’d see a 10+ minute Vine compilation, I couldn’t—and wouldn’t—resist.

As a now Vine-literate consumer, here are my 5 favorites of all time: Continue reading “My Favorite Vines”

Joyful Tech

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There’s a lot of pushback against spending excessive amounts of time on your phone, and I get it—technology is incredibly addicting and can distract us from the more important things in life, like actually living it. I’ve heard so many stories of people downloading the Moment app, which tracks how long you use your phone daily, and being horrified at the number of hours they spend glued to their screens. To be honest, I’m at a crossroads between curiosity and fear when it comes to tracking my own usage. Continue reading “Joyful Tech”

Shaped by Gratitude

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Recently, I went through a heartbreak. A yearlong romantic relationship with my best friend ended, and the weeks that followed were incredibly challenging. The tissues I went through, the “how to get over a breakup” searches I Googled, the many mornings I spent trying to convince myself that everything was just a dream…there’s no denying that the emotional turmoil this change brought had been intense. Expectedly so, but still.

In short, 2018 started out rough.

Continue reading “Shaped by Gratitude”

Weekend Watercolors

The Arts Annex is a nifty little space on campus where students can go to create art. All the supplies are provided and free! My friend and I used to go once a week, but when midterms season hit, we dropped to about once a month. This is what I painted during our last visit; it’s now hanging in a temporary exhibit for student art!

First Completed Journal!

Today, I wrote my final entry in this journal. I’ve now officially gone through an entire one! As I flip through it, I’m in awe of the multitude of rants, realizations, and memories that filled these pages since my first entry in 2015. And so begins the quest to find a new one…

17 Things I Learned in 2017

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2017 has had a particularly strong impact on me. It’s been a year of frustration and challenges, but all the low points have taught me valuable things about life and/or myself. Some lessons are more profound than others; here are 17 of the best that I’ve learned:
Continue reading “17 Things I Learned in 2017”

Premiere of the DETTAs

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This has been a year of incredible digital consumption. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is to be determined, but without a doubt, there is some stellar media that I believe deserves recognition. Welcome to the premiere of the DETTAs, or the Digital Existential Turtle Time Awards!  Continue reading “Premiere of the DETTAs”

Body

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Dear Body,

I’m sorry I’ve malnourished you,
Deprived you of sleep and
ALL the things that you need,

Sacrificed you first when I was the
“Too busy” me,

Got mad when you didn’t look
exactly how I pleased.

Right now I’m awake,
Sitting up in my bed,
Unable to sleep from the food I’ve been fed
and the toxic idea I can
sleep when I’m dead.

I’ll be better, I swear.

Bucket List Item #6d: Visit Chicago

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Taken from a bridgehouse overlooking the Chicago River. Peep the Chicago Tribune building in the background!

This past summer, I lived and worked in the Windy City! For starters, it definitely wasn’t as dangerous as I imagined it would be—given, I stayed in a relatively safe area (South Loop near DePaul, for all the Chicagoans out there), but I grew up associating this city with guns, violence, and its title as the “murder capital of the world.” Yikes, right? Continue reading “Bucket List Item #6d: Visit Chicago”

A Visit to the World’s First Nutella Cafe

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A little under 2 months ago, the world’s first Nutella Cafe opened in Chicago! An avid Nutella fan (I’ve literally finished jars by the spoonful), I was beyond excited to check it out while I was still in the city. Continue reading “A Visit to the World’s First Nutella Cafe”

The Dilemma With My Career-Marriage-Family Timeline

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We all have one, right? I think for women especially, visualizing when we’d hope to get married, land our first real job, and have kids isn’t a novel idea. I call it the “career-marriage-family timeline,” and I’ve had one floating around in my brain for years. Continue reading “The Dilemma With My Career-Marriage-Family Timeline”

Best Reverse Pickpocketing Ever? 


I don’t know this dog, nor did I take this Polaroid picture. As I paid for my food at Panda Express, I noticed this Polaroid wedged between the two business cards I’d been holding in my right hand. It definitely wasn’t there when I entered the line. I’ve heard stories of reverse pickpocketing before—a practice in which items are given to strangers instead of taken—but this has GOT to be the most adorable case of it ever.

“Why Men Love Bitches” by Sherry Argov

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I have a love-hate relationship with this book. There was a lot of advice that I found super problematic (e.g. in order to win a man’s trust or respect, you must manipulate him), but there were also parts that had me snapping my fingers with one hand and turning the page with the other. See the issue? Continue reading ““Why Men Love Bitches” by Sherry Argov”

“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin

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This book is for those who know they can be much happier than they currently are and especially for the ones who are apathetic about the topic as a whole. Through this yearlong project dedicated to improving all aspects of her life, Gretchin Rubin reminds us that we can be proactive when it comes to our personal happiness.  Continue reading ““The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin”

Money Water

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My commute to work is a short, 10 minute walk in one direction. Along the way, I pass multiple eateries, clothing stores, Chicago’s largest public library, two pharmacies, and even a law school–all of this, squeezed into just 5 blocks worth of space.

I also pass over a dozen homeless people. Same path, same space. Every day.

Living in a city where encountering homeless people is the norm affects everyone differently. To some, it makes turning a blind eye a lot easier. To others, it evokes both pity and a desire to help. Personally, and a bit shamefully, I found myself experiencing a mix of both. Continue reading “Money Water”

Special Pigeon

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“You’re the special pigeon in a flock of regular ones!” I remember laughing and telling this to my sister after seeing a brown pigeon for the first time in NYC last summer. Nearly a year later, on my commute to work I spotted this one! I have a strange fascination with them and think they’re beautiful. So if I ever call you a “special pigeon,” it’s a compliment–believe me!

“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling

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This. book. was. HILARIOUS. It has all the sass and wit you’d expect from Kelly Kapoor (though there is an entire paragraph devoted to how different she is from the author), along with all the insight, sarcasm, and honesty that only Mindy Kaling could so expertly deliver.
Continue reading ““Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling”

“Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari

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This book was honestly a lot more informative than I expected it to be! Ansari (it’s so strange calling him by his last name–like most people, I know him more as a comedian than as an author, but props to the man for being just as versatile as he is hilarious) does a great job at infusing humor and personal anecdotes into his extensive research on what it means to date in the 21st century.  Continue reading ““Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari”

Lessons From My Best Friend

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I’ve known my best friend since 4th grade. Technically we met in kindergarten, but 4th grade marks when we decided to sit next to each other for the first time and talk. A few months ago marked the 10 year anniversary of that day—our friendiversary, if you will. I am so incredibly grateful for the fact that she’s been in my life for an entire decade, and I can’t wait for the countless friendiversaries to come (cheesy, I know, but stick with me). From becoming god-friends of each other’s dogs to rejoicing in Contemplative Moon Time, I have learned so much from this wonderful human being. Below are a few of the life lessons she’s taught me over the years: Continue reading “Lessons From My Best Friend”

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