June is my birthday month, which I always look forward to, and it certainly didn't disappoint. It seemed to pass in the blink of an eye and I truly can't believe it's already over! I've now been in Vermont for a month and a half and am truly in love with this state. My days are spent biking to and from work, walking the halls of the hospital, and at the lake. I've made some friends (!), had some great adventures, and enjoyed my time off. I know how lucky I am to have this season where I can focus solely on my job. My living situation is a little strange (it's a summer camp now, so there's always people around), but it's also a huge blessing. I am infinitely grateful to be out on the lake, able to bike to work, and surrounded by nature.
One of the reasons I wanted to come to Vermont for the summer was it would give me a trial run for next year. I have no idea where I'll be in a year, but the odds are quite good that I'll be in a city with no one I know. I wanted to test out and see what it's like to move somewhere new without the built-in community of school. It's been challenging at times and I'm realizing that one of the downsides of living in so many places in that now my friendships are scattered around the country. Despite the challenges, it's also been wonderful and encouraging. I can do this and I know what I need when I move somewhere new (a good kitchen, a backyard, natural sunlight).
What I'm Learning
Clinical Pastoral Education has been a fascinating experience for me. I was prepared for it to be the hardest thing I've ever done, but it hasn't been. I'm nowhere near an expert chaplain and almost every day I have an interaction with a patient where I think, "did I do anything good for this patient?" But there's also a lot that I'm feeling pretty good about. I love my cohort and I have learned so much from them. We joke that it should be called CPmE, because it's so focused on our learning. We spend every morning in group, either learning from someone in the hospital about topics like grief, organ donation, or caring for victims of sexual assault, or we do "verbatims" where we share and analyze our interactions with patients. It's always emotional and it's rare a day goes by without someone shedding a tear. I'm now halfway through with the program and I'm excited to see what the second half holds.
What I'm Reading
I've had so much time to read for fun this month, which is a great treat after a long year of dense readings. There were many books to choose from this month, but this might have been my favorite. I have been hearing about the book Crazy Rich Asians for the past year because it's being adapted into a movie that comes out in August. The movie will be the first Hollywood blockbuster in almost 2 decades to feature an all Asian cast. I finally put the books on hold at the library and immediately devoured Crazy Rich Asians. I was thrilled to find out it's a trilogy and the next two books are just as good as the first. It's a fun look into a culture and economic class that I have nooo idea about. I can't wait for the movie, but I'm glad I read the book first!
What I'm Drinking
When I started planning to move to Vermont, I immediately began researching cider places. I love hard cider, but there aren't many places in Atlanta. Thankfully, Vermont is full of amazing cideries and distilleries, but my favorite so far is Stowe Cider. I've been twice to the tasting room in the little town of Stowe (think skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer) and each time it's magical. I went on my birthday and they treated me so well that I had to wait an hour before I was safe to drive again! It's the best cider around I already know I'm going to miss it when I leave Vermont!
What I'm Watching
Just like my book of the month, I'd been hearing about the show Younger for years but never watched it. For some reason, I finally started watching it on Hulu and was hooked immediately. It's about a 40 year old woman who pretends she's 26 to get a job. The writing on the show is better than most other TV shows out there and feels so real, despite the admittedly silly premise. Now that I'm all caught up, I'm in the market for another show to binge watch this summer!
What I'm Enjoying
One of the highlights of this month was volunteering at the Burlington Food and Wine Festival. I volunteered at the first session and then got to attend the second session for free. It’s an all-inclusive event with 80+ wine, spirit, and food vendors. It was so fun to walk around and try all (ok, not all!) the different foods and drinks. I got to know some of the other volunteers, which was also a highlight. After not having anyone my age to talk to for most of the summer, it was fun to have people to just hang out with!
App I'm Using
I've been using the app Moment for the past few months to help me track my phone usage. It honestly took me about 2 months to start really paying attention to it. At first, I was just annoyed by it and ignored what it was telling me, but over the past month, I've actually started using it to help me use my phone less. I've gotten pretty good at staying in the green, which is less than 2 hours per day, which I have to be intentional about. I used to play games on my phone while I watched TV shows, which is just a way to distract myself from something that I actually enjoy! The app is free and I highly recommend giving it a chance, if only to reveal how much you're actually on your phone.
What I'm Wearing
I lost my prescription sunglasses last year because I got too careless switching between my regular glasses and sunglasses. When I went to get new glasses this year, I thought I'd try the transition lens from Warby Parker because I thought it would solve my switching dilemma but instead, it created a new one. I ended up not loving the transitions, although I will admit they were very convenient at times. (You can see how they look if you swipe back on the pictures above) I returned them for the clear Brady frames and Madison sunglasses, which I've been loving (and got to make one last usage of my health insurance before it expires!). Now I just have to be extra careful not to lose them!
Where I've Been
Vermont is full of gems that I've been able to explore. A new friend invited me to a swimming hole on a river, which was such a treat. Vermont reminds me so much of the PNW and the river reminded me of summers in high school at the swimming holes. The Georgia weather followed me up to Vermont, so i've been escaping the heat in as many bodies of water as possible!