Jo Club 3/n, “Write about your gains and losses over the last six months.”

Taking it back a bit…

I settled into quarantine hard.

It’s been nice because I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve tuned in to what makes me feel good and what makes me feel drained. As society has opened up little-by-little, I’ve been able to experiment with setting boundaries with other people, and learn how much recharge time I really need after being social. I’ve learned to value whatever nourishing connections I can find and cherish them without become bitter and grumpy about obligation and overstimulation. Now, more than ever, I’ve even appreciated whatever small vacations and changes-of-scenery I can take away from home.

It’s sucked because, like I mentioned earlier, I’ve settled into quarantine hard. It’s extremely easy to set boundaries with others when I can hide behind social distancing guidelines. I’ve secretly been dreading a return to normal because I’ve realized that I am a huge homebody, and part of me doesn’t really want to return to normal. I love the 2-minute commute to my desk! I love not spending money at bars and clubs every weekend! I love not having to stress about feeling obligated to do things that I don’t actually want to do! I’m dreading having to make those decisions again! For the rest of my life!

Jo Club 2/n, “Write about your happy place.”

Honestly, I’ve been in a little bit of a weird mood lately, so maybe some happy meditation and gratitude will do me good.

My favorite place to be is in bed with my boyfriend fiancé, right before sleeping. Pillow talk is the best! I know it’s cheesy – fight me!

My second favorite place to be, especially in the past year, is sitting on my front porch, book in hand and earbuds in. This depends heavily on the weather – it can’t be too chilly or too hot I’ll want to go back inside – but if everything is perfect? Low humidity? Slight breeze? A few clouds but otherwise blue skies? Sign me up! I could read for hours!

My third favorite place to be, that I haven’t been able to enjoy in the past year, is actually an airport and/or a hotel! I say both because they’re both my favorite for the same reason – things are happening! What kind of person goes to airports just to hang out? (Apparently there are awesome airports abroad, and to that I say, I live in Boston! What kind of psycho goes to Logan for fun?) Or books a hotel room on a normal night? Nobody! I assume! I’m one of those people who loves staking out good seats at the gate before a flight and unpacks my luggage into the dressers as soon as I get into a hotel room, if that gives you any indication.

Jo Club 1/n, “What’s got you excited lately?”

I got engaged!

I’ve never been the type of person who had a “dream” wedding. Though I had a wedding Pinterest board (as many other women my age did), I spent a lot of my life believing that I wouldn’t be able to afford a fancy wedding, and my pins felt more like theoretical dreams than something I could actually make a reality. When I made those boards, mostly in high school, I wasn’t even dating anyone, making those dreams seem even further away.

Now, years and years later, I’ve gotten used to wearing a ring on my finger – I’ve never been a ring person, honestly – and have spent the better part of this month spending endless hours scrolling through The Knot, scheduling venue tours, and trying to figure out exactly how many flowers we’ll be able to afford. All while, right now, I don’t even feel comfortable sitting inside a restaurant to eat. What kind of alternate universe is this?!

Though I don’t have most of the details planned out, it is frankly exciting to simply have something to look forward to! We are crossing our fingers that large-scale events like weddings will be feasible and safe by the summer of next year, and are fantasizing about having our families fly in from all over the country to have a crowded and sweaty celebration – something that I can barely fathom right now!